The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) says an EU deal to postpone new rules enabling safer lorry designs is a setback for road safety.
Representatives of EU member states, the European Parliament and the European Commission met last night to hammer out an agreement on new legislation that enables, but does not require, manufacturers to make changes to lorry cabs that improve visibility and reduce the impact of crashes on other vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists. The final agreement, which is still subject to agreement by member state representatives and a vote by the European Parliament, effectively delays the optional changes until 2022.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) said:
“These changes could prevent up to 900 deaths a year on European roads, so any delay will cost lives. The idea that these road safety innovations should be subject to a moratorium to enable all manufacturers to compete equally is without precedent. Just imagine how many more lives would have been lost if innovations like seat belts and electronic stability control had been held back from the market for similar reasons.”
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.
New research by TRL estimates that up to 900 lives could be saved annually as a result of the proposed measures.
Notes to editors
– For further information see: Briefing: Weights and Dimensions of Heavy Goods Vehicles – Maximising Safety