A draft regulation, due to be presented by the Commission on Friday (23 May), seeks to impose the fitting of advanced safety features on all road vehicles in a bid to cut the number of road deaths in Europe, according to an early copy of the text seen by EURACTIV.
According to the draft document, anti-skid electronic stability control (ESC) equipment will become mandatory on all vehicles as of 29 October 2012.
According to the Commission, skidding is the principle cause of at least 40% of fatal road accidents, meaning that ESC technology could save 4,000 lives and prevent 100,000 serious accidents every year. But up till now, ESC is only found in roughly 45% of all new cars, although this varies from market to market due to manufacturers’ differing commercial strategies and varied support from authorities.
Under the new rules, heavy-duty vehicles would have to be fitted with emergency braking assistance and lane departure warning systems as of 29 October 2013. The Regulation also lays down requirements for the voluntary fitting of such systems onto other categories of vehicles.
Tyre pressure monitoring systems would also become compulsory in all passenger cars as of 29 October 2012, in a bid to enhance both vehicle safety and environmental performance.
The proposal also introduces stricter rolling noise limits for tyres and new requirements on wet grip and rolling resistance – which should also help reduce vehicles’ tyre-related CO2 emissions.
Member states are asked to lay down rules on “effective, proportionate and dissuasive” penalties applicable to manufacturers who infringe these requirements to make sure that they are implemented.
The initiative also seeks to simplify the whole regulatory framework that currently surrounds vehicle safety and tyre requirements, as it will effectively repeal some 50 existing directives and around 100 other amending texts currently in force.