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New EU regulations will force makers to produce safer cars from 2022

Joseph Delves
11 Nov 2019

Updated rules will mandate safety-boosting features on all new vehicles

Image: Public domain, European Commission

From the middle of 2022 new cars made for the EU market will have to be equipped with advanced safety systems. Aiming to improve safety for both occupants and vulnerable road users, the new rules aim to reduce the number of fatalities and severe injuries on EU roads. Following an agreement with the European Parliament last March, the European Council has adopted a regulation on the general safety of motor vehicles and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users.

Along with the safety of those inside the vehicles, heavy emphasis is also being placed on measures to mitigate the danger posed to vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists.

Under the new rules, all motor vehicles will have to be equipped with the safety features including intelligent speed assistance, alcohol interlock installation facilitation, driver drowsiness and attention warning systems, advanced driver distraction warning systems and event data recorders.

Crucially for cyclists, cars and vans will also be required to include enlarged head impact protection zones capable of mitigating injuries in the event of a collision.

New larger vehicles including trucks and buses will also face more stringent regulation to help reduce blind spots while also being required to include systems capable of detecting pedestrians and cyclists in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle.

Updating regulations that are now 10 years old, the new general safety regulations will come into force 30 months after their initial agreement. With some degree of self-driving technology increasingly found on many vehicles, many of the rules also seem aimed at improving the implementation of this technology.

Further details can be found here: europa.eu/safer-cars-in-the-eu

Although Brexit creates the possibility of diversion from the new rules, the likelihood of vehicles being produced in the UK not also adhering to the new regulations is likey to be minimal.

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