Road Safety News

Coalition calls for ’urgent action’ to improve vehicle safety standards

Monday 14th August 2017

A coalition of transport and road safety organisations is calling on the UK Government to pledge its support for European Commission plans to improve new vehicle safety standards.

In a joint letter and briefing to roads minister Jesse Norman MP, the partners say improved minimum vehicle safety standards are needed to reduce road deaths and serious injuries.

The group comprises Brake, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT), European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), Living Streets, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), RoadPeace and Association of Car Fleet Operators.

Last year the European Commission published a list of 19 safety technologies which it is considering making mandatory. In the letter, the group urges Jesse Norman to support these measures and champion continued improvements under UK legislation following Brexit.

The technologies being championed for new cars include Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) and Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) - an overridable system for helping drivers stick to speed limits.

The EC is also considering measures specifically for HGVs, to protect pedestrians and cyclists, including improvements to lorry drivers’ direct vision.

Vehicle standards were last updated in 2009 and the partners says that significant advances in vehicle technology, which have taken place since then, make it “prudent to raise the bar and implement further cost effective life-saving safety measures as standard”.

The coalition concludes that improved vehicle safety standards are “crucial to ensure the effective delivery of the 'safe system' approach adopted by Britain, driving towards the ultimate target of zero road deaths and serious injuries”.

Category: Vehicles & technology.



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Sad to see that the UK isn't leading the world on these matters, but continuing to pay lip service to road safety, with crass technology such as the speed camera.
Andrew Fraser, Stirling

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

As a pedestrian and bike rider I have limited acceleration and top speed. I keep out of trouble by continuing risk assessment, taking evasive action and backing off instead of speeding away. Vehicle technology is one half, driver compassion and skill is the other half of the partnership.
Peter Treadgold, London

Agree (9) | Disagree (0)

My issue David, is with cars designed, built and then marketed and promoted specifically emphasising very high performance, but little practical use as everyday vehicles. They attract and are bought by individuals who will confuse the race track (where these vehicles belong) with the highway and who do not have the maturity, skill and self-discipline to behave responsibly on the road in anything, let alone a 'supercar'.

This was adequately summed-up by a gentleman (not a young man) who found himself on a Speed Awareness Course and who said he had bought a particular 'high-performance car' with the specific intention of driving it 'as fast as possible'.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (7) | Disagree (3)

Hugh, one man's sufficiency is another's surplus. I mostly drive two vehicles: one a 250bhp car, and the other a 130bhp motorcycle. I very rarely use the potential acceleration of either vehicle to its maximum, but it is useful to occasionally dig into their performance for safety's sake. Who would tell us what we need in the way of acceleration and top speed? If it would be the Government, then I'd be worried.
David, Suffolk

Agree (8) | Disagree (4)

That would probably come under 'reasonable and adequate acceleration' David, to cope with such situations.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

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I don't want anyone to have limited the acceleration of my vehicle when I am on an uphill slip road and about to join a busy Motorway.
David, Suffolk

Agree (7) | Disagree (4)

I was thinking of the various legal standards that motor manufacturers have to meet for their cars to be legally sold Guzzi, rather than enforcement post-sale. I agree though, it's probably not going to happen - it was just a naive wish. I suspect adequate and reasonable acceleration and top speeds on a vehicle is what most buyers are happy with and who don't need posing cars.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (2)

I thought we already had a limit on maximum speeds - the speed limit? Capping acceleration rates - how on earth will that be enforced? Technology to limit both on new vehicles will just be another business opportunity for railway arch type companies to 'chip' vehicles for after market performance improvements. And that does not deal with the 25 million (or so) vehicles already on UK roads.
Guzzi, Newport

Agree (8) | Disagree (0)

How about imposing a limit on maximum speeds and acceleration rates to deter the reckless antics which can lead to the crashes in the first place? More relaxed and restrained driving on the highway would benefit all.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (6)

Even if all these technology aids were approved to become standard quite soon (perhaps within a couple of years in automotive and legislative terms), it will be the mid 2020s before they appear in my sector of the used vehicle market.

I'm not quite sure what timescale the safe system approach is aiming at, but I would suggest we should allow/expect at least 10 years for such technology equipped vehicles to percolate through to become common place in the wider used vehicle market.
Pat, Wales

Agree (14) | Disagree (0)