It has been announced this week that new vehicles including lorries and buses sold in Europe from 2022, will be fitted as standard with new safety features, subject to the European Parliament and Council formally approving the same.
The Department for Transport has confirmed that the new safety feature requirements will also apply in the UK, post Brexit.
The new safety features will include automated emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, over ridable intelligent speed assistance and lane keep assistance.
Lorries and buses will also have a new direct vision standard, enabling drivers to have a better view of other road users around their vehicle.
Elzbieta Bienkowska, EU Commissioner, stated:
"Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads. The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error.
"With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced."
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, a road safety charity working with communities and organisations across the UK to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and support people bereaved and seriously injured on roads, stated:
“This is a landmark day for road safety. These measures will provide the biggest leap forward for road safety this century, perhaps even since the introduction of the seat belt. These lifesaving measures come at a vital time, with road safety in a concerning period of stagnation with more than 70 people still being killed or seriously injured on British roads every day.”
Sadly, 1,700 people are killed on UK roads every year, of which it is estimate that speed is a contributory factor in about a quarter of all fatal crashes.
We will now need to await further announcements from the European Parliament and the Department for Transport.