Fleet News

Urgent action on vehicle safety standards needed

vehicle safety standards.

The UK Government must support European Commission (EC) plans to improve new vehicle safety standards, says industry groups and NGOs.

In a joint letter and briefing to roads minister Jesse Norman, fleet representative body ACFO, Brake, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, European Transport Safety Council, Living Streets, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and Road Peace say improved minimum vehicle safety standards are needed to reduce deaths and serious injuries on UK roads.

Last year, the EC published a list of 19 safety technologies which it is considering to make mandatory. In its letter, the group urges the minister to support these measures and champion continued improvements under UK legislation following Brexit.

The technologies under consideration for new cars include Automated Emergency Braking, Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), an overridable system for helping drivers stick to speed limits, as well as updates to crash testing requirements to protect occupants and people outside vehicles.

The EC is also considering measures specifically for lorries, to protect people and foot and bicycles, including improvements to lorry drivers’ direct vision (what they can see out their windows). 

Vehicle standards were last updated in 2009 and 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 group says.

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."

For more on this story, see the August 31 edition of Fleet News

Click here for fleet management software best practice and procurement insight

Login to comment


  • John - 15/08/2017 11:43

    If Intelligent Speed Assistance is so important - why is it 'overridable'? How does that count as 'intelligent? Those who override it are those who need it most.

  • new email - 15/08/2017 11:46

    Car safety standards have improved immensely since 2009, by contrast drivers are paying less attention to driving than ever. Despite Bluetooth and voice recognition few drivers use either, preferring to hold their phone, or put it on speaker. Looking at texts, facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and other Apps whilst driving is all but ubiquitous for most under 40's. Changing that behaviour is key to reducing accidents and deaths. It's oft quoted but based on psychological facts, that if there was a steel spike sticking out of the steering wheel boss there would be less collisions, because the personal consequences of having a collision would be greater and drivers would take more care. The biggest safety issue on the road is, as they say, the nut behind the wheel.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee