The European Parliament has voted to support revised rules on the dimensions of heavy goods vehicles that will enable manufacturers to produce safer lorries.
The legislation will allow for cabs with improved visibility, especially important for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists in urban areas.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said:
“This legislation is a step forward because it will enable innovative new designs that include crumple zones along with better visibility and protection of car occupants, pedestrians and cyclists.
“But the Parliament should remain vigilant and ensure that these safety requirements don’t get watered down in negotiations with Member States or by the working groups that work out the technical details of the new rules.”
According to ETSC data, around 4300 people died in collisions involving lorries in 2011. Because of their size and weight, crashes can be catastrophic with a much higher risk of death or serious injury.
A study carried out for the European Commission estimates that as many as 500 lives could be saved every year if the cabs were made safer.
The Parliament also agreed today that there should be no change to the current rules that prevent longer and heavier lorries from crossing borders in Europe – a decision also supported by ETSC.
The proposed rules now need to be agreed with EU member states.
Notes to editors
– See ETSC’s briefing on lorry weights and dimensions
– For further background data on collisions involving HGVs, see ETSC’s latest Road Safety Performance Index (PIN) report.
– European Commission impact assessment study on the proposals.