Niculae Bădălău, Romanian Minister for economy

Niculae Bădălău, Romanian Minister for economy has said that this new regulation will contribute to the objective of significantly reducing the number of fatalities and severe injuries on EU roads through the measures for the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users. Starting from 2022, new technologies and systems will become mandatory for new vehicles of different types. The new regulation will also provide an opportunity for EU car manufacturers to consolidate their leadership on innovative vehicle safety systems.

The EU introduces a new regulation imposing enhanced safety standards for car manufacturers in a bid to significantly reduce the number of road casualties and injuries. Member states’ ambassadors meeting in the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee today approved the provisional deal reached between the Romanian presidency and the European Parliament on a draft regulation on the general safety of motor vehicles and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users.

The regulation updates existing rules on car safety contained in the General Safety Regulation (EC) 661/2009, the Pedestrian Safety Regulation (EC) 78/2009 and the Hydrogen Safety Regulation (EC) 79/2009.

Ten years after the adoption of the General Safety Regulation, the new regulation will provide a renewed impulse to EU action on road safety and will contribute to achieving the goal of zero road fatalities and serious injuries by 2050. For the first time, it addresses the specific concerns of vulnerable road users, in particular pedestrians and cyclists.

Under the new rules, all motor vehicles (including trucks, buses, vans and sport utility vehicles) will have to be equipped with the following safety features :

  • intelligent speed assistance,
  • alcohol interlock installation facilitation,
  • driver drowsiness and attention warning systems,
  • advanced driver distraction warning systems,
  • emergency stop signals,
  • reversing detection systems,
  • event data recorders,
  • accurate tyre pressure monitoring,

Supplementary advanced safety measures will be required for cars and vans. These include :

  • advanced emergency braking systems,
  • emergency lane-keeping systems,
  • enlarged head impact protection zones capable of mitigating injuries in collisions with vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

In addition to the general requirements and existing systems (such as lane departure warning and advanced emergency braking), trucks and buses shall have to be equipped with advanced systems capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists located in close proximity and significantly reducing blind spots around the vehicle.

Furthermore, the regulation enables the Commission to enact specific rules for the safety of hydrogen-powered vehicles and of automated vehicles.

More generally, the regulation enables the Commission to update the above-mentioned technical specifications to take account of future technical developments.

Next steps

Following the usual scrutiny by lawyer-linguists, the agreed text will be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council shortly. It shall enter into force twenty days after its publication in the Official Journal of the EU and will start applying 30 months from its entry into force. A longer application date is provided for a limited number of features in order to allow the manufacturers to adapt their production to the new requirements.