On Thursday, 21 February 2019, the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted the report on the General Safety Regulation from Róża Thun which within three years will lead to the implementation of a large number of safety features in cars.
Several of these features are aimed at the protection of vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, like automatic emergency braking (AEB) and direct view to other road users around the vehicle from truck and bus cabins. Part of the new legislation is also mandatory overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) and Emergency Lane Keeping.
Dolf Willigers, General secretary of FEMA comments: “Although this legislation is aimed at cars, busses and truck, it affects the safety of motorcyclists too. Therefor I’m very happy with the outcome of the debate. This is another step to enhance motorcycle safety. At the same time, motorcyclists should be aware that parts of this kind of measures, like overridable ISA and possibly even AEB, will in time trickle down to motorcycles too and we need to be prepared for that. As the discussions between the car lobby (ACEA and FIA region 1) and the European Commission and the road safety organisations has shown, the only way to influence the outcome of the discussions is to enter them with an open mind and not just say no, like the car lobby unsuccessfully has done.”
The European Union is working hard on road safety today. After the adoption of the reviewed General Safety Regulation this morning, now the Council, the Commission and the Parliament have reached an agreement to reform Europe’s main roads. The working of the Road Infrastructure Safety Management Directive is extended from the roads of the TEN-T network to all major roads. This means that road authorities will have to take systematic account of motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users in road safety management procedures.
The press release from the Council:
Making roads safer – EU agrees on reforms to strengthenroad infrastructure managementThe EU is working to improve road safety. Representatives of the Romanian presidency of the Council today reached a provisionalagreement with the European Parliament on a proposal to strengthen road infrastructure management to reduce road fatalitiesand serious injuries.The reform will extend the scope of the current rules to motorways and other primary roads beyond the trans-European transportnetwork (TEN-T). This will contribute significantly to the improvement of road infrastructure safety across the Union. The directivewill also cover roads outside urban areas that are built using EU funding.
The proposal introduces a network-wide road safety assessment, which is a snapshot of the entire road network covered by thedirective used to evaluate accident risk. Authorities will use the findings to carry out more targeted road safety inspections or takedirect remedial action.
It will become mandatory to take systematic account of pedestrians, cyclists and other vulnerable road users in road safetymanagement procedures. These road users accounted for almost half of road fatalities in the EU in 2017.Next stepsThe provisional agreement will have to be endorsed by the Council and the relevant European Parliament committee. It will thenbe formally adopted following the usual legal linguistic scrutiny.