Developments in the safety of Irish roads took a huge leap forward last Thursday, with a landmark EU proposal to mandate the fitting of lifesaving technologies, including Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB) and Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), in all new cars. And the vast majority of drivers agree that all new cars should be fitted with the latest lifesaving safety features as standard.
The proposal is part of the European Commission’s (EC) Third Mobility Package. A set of measures with the objective of allowing all drivers to benefit from safer traffic, less polluting vehicles and more advanced technological solutions.
The case to mandate these lifesaving technologies, rather than rely upon their purchase as optional extras, is highlighted by the current lack of awareness of AEB and ISA, and their limited fitting in cars.
The European Commission Third Mobility Package is wide-ranging and includes: a target to reduce deaths and serious injuries on EU roads by 50 per cent between 2020 and 2030; a proposal that within 3 years all new models introduced on the market must have 11 advanced safety features, such as advanced emergency braking, lane-keeping system, over-ridable intelligent speed assistance or driver’s distraction recognition.
Commenting on the announcement, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at UK road safety charity Brake, said: “This proposal is hugely significant, marking the next chapter in European road safety and putting us back on the path to vision zero – a world with zero road deaths and serious injuries.
“Every day, five people in the UK are killed and more than 65 seriously injured in road crashes, causing untold devastation to families across the country. These proposals will get the latest lifesaving vehicle technologies on our roads, a move long called for Brake, preventing crashes and helping reduce their impact. It is now up to the UK Government, and others across the EU, to ensure this proposal becomes law and they must deliver.
“Targets for a 50% reduction in EU road deaths and serious injuries between 2020 and 2030 are welcome and a positive step towards vision zero. UK road safety improvement has stalled in recent years and yet a number of proven road safety policy options remain unexplored. We urge the UK to follow the EU’s lead and implement national road safety targets, focusing the mind and helping push forward proven road safety measures.”