The European Parliament has approved the new rules requiring safety systems in vehicles

On 16 April 2019, with 578 votes to 30, and 25 abstentions, the European Parliament adopted the new ruleson type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users.  

The new rules will make certain vehicle safety measures mandatory as from May 2022 for new models and as from May 2024 for existing models. These safety measures include the intelligent speed assistance system, the alcohol interlock installation facilitation system, technologies warning the driver in case of drowsiness or distraction, emergency stop reversing detection signals and an event data recorder (“black box”). Moreover, it will be mandatory for passenger cars and light commercial vehiclesto have an emergency braking system (already compulsory for lorries and buses), as well as an emergency lane-keeping system.

The new legislation also provides for specific requirements relating to buses and trucks, aimed at enhancing the direct visibility of vulnerable road users from the driver seat (such as cyclists and pedestrians), by reducing to the greatest possible extent the blind spots in front and to the side of the driver, while taking into account the specificities of different categories of vehicles. The so-called direct vision technology should be applied to new models as from November 2025 and for existing models from November 2028. Finally, the new rules also improve passive safety requirements, including crash tests (front and side), as well as windscreens to mitigate the severity of injuries for pedestrians and cyclists.

The text approved by the Parliament will now be submitted for approval to the EU Council of Ministers.

Sara Capruzzi