Fleet News

Forum calls for research into the cause of accidents

A CALL for in-depth research into the causes of accidents has followed a meeting chaired by the European Commission (EC) that brought together 150 representatives from the automotive and telecommunications industry to discuss road safety.

Held in Brussels, delegates at the eSafety Forum were also present from intelligent transport system providers, infrastructure operators, public authorities and the EC.

High-profile figures included European Commissioner for Enterprise and Information Society Erkki Liikanen, the president of the FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile) Max Mosley, and ACEA and Renault chairman Louis Schweitzer.

Liikanen said: 'We now need to focus on the deployment of eSafety technologies, systems and solutions – in other words, get eSafety into cars and on the road for the benefit of 375 million European road users.

'I am confident the forum's recommendations will lead to concrete actions.'

Recommendations put forward by preparatory working groups and adopted by the eSafety Forum include how to implement eCall (in-vehicle emergency calls) and the need for more comprehensive data on the causes of accidents. It will also look at how in-car systems can distract drivers, and the fact safety systems in cars that are costly to produce are usually put in premium cars and not those driven by younger people.

The European Commission believes it has a key role to play, including achieving a Europe-wide consensus on priorities and activities, supporting the relevant research and development and vehicle type approval procedures.

It also wants to help remove obstacles to Intelligent Integrated Road Safety Systems, through standardising electronic systems. At the meeting, Liikanen referred to two communications on road safety that are expected to be presented to the European Council by June 2003.

Firstly, the Communication on the Third Road Safety Action Plan, prepared by the Directorate General for Transport and Energy, will lay down the general framework and strategy for road safety.

Secondly, the Communication 'Information and Communication Technologies for Intelligent Vehicles' report by the Directorates General for Information Society and Enterprise will bring forward the detailed actions the Commission will undertake to implement eSafety and new technologies for improved road safety.

'Monitoring progress in the implementation of all eSafety recommendations must not be forgotten,' Liikanen stressed. 'Clear objectives for deliverables, products, public investments and legal measures are essential, as without these there will not be a commitment.'

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