Procedure : 2017/2085(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0330/2017

Texts tabled :

A8-0330/2017

Debates :

PV 13/11/2017 - 16
CRE 13/11/2017 - 16

Votes :

PV 14/11/2017 - 5.2
CRE 14/11/2017 - 5.2

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2017)0423

REPORT     
PDF 346kWORD 78k
23 October 2017
PE 606.166v02-00 A8-0330/2017

on saving lives: boosting car safety in the EU

(2017/2085(INI))

Committee on Transport and Tourism

Rapporteur: Dieter-Lebrecht Koch

Rapporteur for the opinion (*):

Daniel Dalton, Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

(*) Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
 INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE
 FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

MOTION FOR A EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION

on saving lives: boosting car safety in the EU

(2017/2085(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission report entitled ‘Saving Lives: Boosting Car Safety in the EU – Reporting on the monitoring and assessment of advanced vehicle safety features, their cost effectiveness and feasibility for the review of the regulations on general vehicle safety and on the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users’ (COM(2016)0787) and to the accompanying Commission staff working document (SWD(2016)0431),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended therefor(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 78/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 January 2009 on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, amending Directive 2007/46/EC and repealing Directives 2003/102/EC and 2005/66/EC(2),

–  having regard to Directive 2014/47/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Union and repealing Directive 2000/30/EC(3),

–  having regard to Directive (EU) 2015/413 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2015 facilitating cross-border exchange of information on road-safety-related traffic offences(4),

–  having regard to Directive (EU) 2015/719 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 amending Council Directive 96/53/EC laying down for certain road vehicles circulating within the Community the maximum authorised dimensions in national and international traffic and the maximum authorised weights in international traffic(5),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2015/758 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 concerning type-approval requirements for the deployment of the eCall in-vehicle system based on the 112 service and amending Directive 2007/46/EC,

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 September 2015 on ‘The implementation of the 2011 White Paper on Transport: taking stock and the way forward towards sustainable mobility’(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2017 on road transport in the European Union(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 July 2013 on ‘Road safety 2011-2020 – First milestones towards an injury strategy’(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 September 2011 on European road safety 2011-2020(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 December 2011 on ‘The Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’(10),

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘A European strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems, a milestone towards cooperative, connected and automated mobility’ (COM(2016)0766),

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘Towards a European road safety area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020’ (COM(2010)0389),

–  having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘CARS 2020: Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable automotive industry in Europe’ (COM(2012)0636),

–  having regard to the Commission White Paper entitled ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’ (COM(2011)0144),

–  having regard to the Commission report entitled ‘Benefit and feasibility of a range of new technologies and unregulated measures in the field of vehicle occupant safety and protection of vulnerable road users’, drawn up by the Transport Research Laboratory and published on 31 March 2015,

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled ‘On the implementation of objective 6 of the European Commission’s policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020 – First milestone towards an injury strategy’ (SWD(2013)0094),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 8 June 2017 on road safety in support of the Valletta Declaration of March 2017,

–  having regard to the package ‘Europe on the Move’, released by the Commission on 31 May 2017, which includes a set of eight legislative initiatives with a special focus on road transport,

–  having regard to the United Nations General Assembly resolution 70/260 of 15 April 2016 entitled ‘Improving Global Road Safety’,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A8-0330/2017),

A.  whereas every year on Europe’s roads around 25 500 people die and some 135 000 are seriously injured, so that more – and more effective – measures need to be taken, in consultation with Member States, if the vision zero goal of ‘no fatalities’ is to be achieved;

B.  whereas road safety depends on three factors: vehicle, infrastructure and drivers’ behaviour, and, therefore, measures in all three areas are necessary in order to enhance road safety and effective measures should be taken in the area of active and passive vehicle safety;

C.  whereas the average age of passenger cars, light-duty vehicles and heavy-duty vehicles in the EU is constantly increasing and is now over 10 years; whereas the age of a vehicle has a direct bearing on the consequences of and the injuries sustained in a road accident;

D.  whereas driver assistance systems make the vehicles safer and also enable the safe and active participation of persons with reduced mobility and the elderly in road traffic;

E.  whereas intelligent driving systems reduce congestion, warn drivers of hazards on their route, and consequently help to lower the risk of causing an accident;

F.  whereas the move towards driver-free vehicles is progressing rapidly and road safety generally is an urgent issue, so that a review of the General Safety Regulation must be submitted by the Commission no later than first quarter of 2018; whereas in any event any further delay would be unacceptable;

G.  whereas since 38 % of all fatalities occur in urban areas, often involving vulnerable road users, Member States should take vulnerable road users into consideration in urban traffic planning, improving their treatment in relation to modes of transport such as cars and buses; whereas the Commission should present its review of the pedestrian protection regulation;

H.  whereas there is a clear link between road safety and the working conditions of professional road users;

General requests

1.  Stresses that Member States should conduct efficient and regular road checks on drivers, as the main causes of accidents, at present as in the past, are speed levels that are inappropriate and excessive speed for the driving conditions concerned, distraction, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and excessive fatigue, and therefore:

(a)  calls on the Commission to set a percentage for the numbers of vehicles in classes M1 and N1 to be checked;

(b)  calls on the Commission to introduce stricter controls for the proper enforcement of compulsory working-time limits and rest periods for drivers who are professional road users;

(c)  calls on the Member States to step up exchanges of best practices, particularly regarding smart enforcement strategies, and to introduce penalties which will act as a deterrent to offenders;

2.  Notes that around 25 % of all annual traffic fatalities in the EU are caused by alcohol consumption; invites the Commission, therefore, to assess the possible added value of harmonising the EU blood alcohol concentration limit at 0.0% for new drivers in their first two years and for professional drivers, and welcomes some Member States’ zero tolerance policy for drunk driving;

3.  Urges the Commission, bearing in mind the Valletta Declaration on improving road safety issued by the Maltese presidency on 29 March 2017, to include new targets for halving the number of serious injuries on the roads in the EU in its new road safety strategy for the decade 2020-2030;

4.  Calls on the Member States to significantly improve the state of their road infrastructure by means of regular and effective maintenance, including of traffic signs and signalling systems, and appropriate upgrades to cope with traffic volumes, and to introduce innovative measures providing full functionality and enhancing the interoperability of driver assistance systems, resulting in so-called intelligent infrastructure; calls on the Commission to set up a mechanism to ensure that the European road infrastructure remains in an adequate condition;

5.  Points out that infrastructural alterations (for example certain types of crash barrier or traffic-calming devices) can sometimes cause accidents or make them worse, especially when motorised two-wheelers are involved; calls on the Commission, therefore, to propose any standardisation measure likely to remedy the drawbacks;

6.  Observes that many drivers are not aware of the necessity of or how to form a corridor for emergency vehicle access on motorways, and therefore calls on the Commission to set common standards for the creation of such corridors and to launch a European awareness campaign;

7.  Observes that for pedestrians and cyclists nearly half of all fatalities resulting from traffic accidents are of persons aged over 65, and that road accidents are the biggest cause of death among young people; calls on the Member States, therefore, to make it possible for older people and young drivers to use the roads safely by developing well-publicised programmes to avert age-specific accident risks;

8.  Observes that in 51 % of cases the victims of fatal road accidents in urban areas are pedestrians and cyclists, and therefore encourages cities to include targets in their mobility plans for reducing the number of road and traffic accidents; also calls on the Member States to take greater account of more vulnerable road users, by addressing critical accident hotspots and by building and maintaining more safe pedestrian and cycling infrastructure or expanding and modernising existing infrastructure while also ensuring better indications; calls on the Commission also to take further action at EU level over and above the availability of existing funding schemes, in order to facilitate widespread improvements to cycling infrastructure and to mandate new active and passive vehicle safety technologies that protect in particular vulnerable road users;

9.  Notes that because some cyclists are ignorant of traffic regulations and/or fail to observe them, situations sometimes arise in which their own safety and that of other road users can be endangered; calls on the Commission to consider what kind of proposal it might make to promote safer cycling, thereby enabling bicycles to be dovetailed smoothly with the other modes of urban mobility;

10.  Encourages intelligent transport system (ITS) and public transport operators to further develop technologies for vehicles that encourage drivers to switch to safer modes of transport when entering urban areas;

11.  Observes that new means of transport, such as e-bikes and other electric mobility devices, are becoming increasingly popular; calls on the Commission, therefore, to examine the safety requirements for such vehicles without delay, and to make proposals for their safe integration into road transport, while taking due account of subsidiarity;

12.  Notes that the development and implementation of safety systems ought to make for road safety, and that this process will accordingly require some kind of adaptation period; calls on the Commission, therefore, to allow for the time necessary to develop such systems before specific technical legislation is put into effect;

13.  Recalls that odometer fraud remains an untackled problem, especially in the second- hand car market, as noted by the Commission in its study on the functioning of the market for second-hand cars from a consumer perspective; urges the Commission and the Member States to address the issue of manipulation of or tampering with odometers through effective measures and legislation;

14.  Notes that the more vehicles there are on the road, the more likely it is accidents might occur; calls, therefore, on the Member States and the Commission to promote collective and shared mobility, especially in urban areas, in order to reduce the circulating fleet, as well as measures to increase the proportion of bicycles and of professionally driven vehicles;

15.  Points out that the equipment that must compulsorily be carried in a vehicle differs from one Member State to another, and calls on the Commission, therefore, to draw up an EU-wide binding list of objects that should fall under the carrying requirement;

16.  Maintains that the EU and its research centres should play a leading role in the development of autonomous vehicles, since these will revolutionise the automobile sector, especially in terms of road safety, in which respect they are expected to save thousands of lives every year, as well as contributing to the digitalisation of the internal market;

Driver assistance systems to increase road safety

17.  Stresses that approximately 92 % of all accidents are due to human error or interaction of human error with vehicles and/or infrastructure, and that it should therefore be compulsory to incorporate only those driver assistance systems which improve road safety significantly as demonstrated by scientific evidence, have a favourable cost-benefit ratio, and have attained market maturity; considers that additionally, the resulting purchase price increases should not be so inordinate that the intended customers for such vehicles cannot afford to buy them, and that driver assistance systems, which are of relevance for road safety, should be checked regularly;

18.  Calls on the Commission to test the above-mentioned safety devices when performing vehicle market surveillance;

19.  Considers that the benefits of improved safety standards and equipment can be realised only if existing and future provisions are implemented and enforced effectively; calls, in this regard, for increased European-level oversight of type-approval authorities and technical services in the Union; calls, in addition, for greater and more independent post-market surveillance of vehicles on roads across the Union to ensure that they continue to conform to safety criteria;

20.  Stresses that, when non-conformities are identified, European consumers should be able to count on rapid, appropriate and coordinated corrective measures, including Union-wide vehicle recall where necessary; considers that economic operators should be liable for any damage caused to owners of affected vehicles as a result of non-compliance or following a recall;

21.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve the safety level of existing vehicles in use and to support developments and innovations which will increase the safety of cars already in use by incentivising and promoting the retrofitting of vehicles with cost-effective road safety systems that help drivers react better in a dangerous situation;

22.  Calls on manufacturers and operators:

(a)  to make it clear to drivers what the activation status of each driver assistance system is;

(b)  where systems can be switched off, to introduce two-stage deactivation systems, such that the driver can initially merely switch off the warning signal and can only deactivate the system itself by means of a second procedure;

(c)  to ensure that each time a vehicle is started afresh the driver assistance system is restored to active status; and

(d)  to introduce a pricing policy which will encourage consumers to choose vehicles equipped with safety and driver assistance systems;

23.  Stresses that evident warnings should be sufficiently differentiated to ensure that it is intuitively clear to which system the assistance pertains, and that warnings should also be easy to perceive for elderly persons, persons with a disability, such as hearing and/or sight impairment, and persons with reduced mobility; calls, therefore, on the parties concerned to adopt appropriate uniform standards allowing the possibility of operator-specific solutions;

24.  Welcomes the fact that almost all cars tested under the European New Car Assessment Programme for consumers (Euro NCAP) are awarded five stars and that the majority of car manufacturers have successfully responded to the challenge of meeting the new Euro NCAP requirements; notes, however, that not all car models sold in Europe are tested by Euro NCAP, and not all of the same type are sold with the same specification, which may create lack of clarity for consumers and thus offer a false level of confidence in the vehicle in relation to the actual performance of the model purchased; recalls the importance, therefore, of a strong underlying standard of mandatory safety requirements which ensure that all necessary safety equipment is present across the fleet used and sold in the EU;

25.  Is of the opinion that the Euro NCAP should always reflect the actual car safety of a specific model, and encourages it to be more ambitious in assessing the safety of new vehicles than the statutory minimum requirements compel it to, and to take into consideration the updated statutory minimum requirements, in order to further promote the development of vehicles that ensure high road safety standards and so that Europe remains ambitious and acts as a global leader in car safety;

26.  Calls on the Commission to coordinate the adoption of standards with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) so as to achieve international consistency and at the same time limit to a minimum exemptions from the requirement to install driver assistance systems, in order to improve road safety across the board; stresses, in addition, that manufacturers should create clear information materials to help drivers better understand the various driver assistance systems and their functionalities;

27.  Calls for a harmonised European approach which takes into account all existing international and national legislation and ensures its complementarity;

28.  Calls on the Commission to investigate the involvement of special-purpose vehicles in urban accidents and, if necessary, to abolish the existing exemptions from the requirement to install driver assistance systems;

29.  Stresses that drivers' instruction should include periodical and additional training in using obligatory driver assistance mechanisms, paying special attention to the elderly and persons with reduced mobility; urges driving schools, on the one hand, to incorporate issues relating to the operation of these systems into their learner training, and, on the other hand, to couple acquiring a driving licence with having received professional, on-road practical training;

30.  Notes that financial incentives, for example tax-based or insurance-based, for measures such as the installation of additional safety-relevant driver assistance systems in new and used cars or their inclusion in driver training, can facilitate the market uptake of vehicles with advanced safety features; invites Member States to consider introducing such mechanisms;

31.  Calls on the Commission to require market operators to arrange for the use of open standards and interfaces which will further improve interoperability, so that independent tests can be carried out by accessing the relevant vehicle and system data, including their updates, and can be performed by any qualified professional, while respecting proprietary data and intellectual property;

32.  Stresses that a high level of data protection and retention as required by Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (the General Data Protection Regulation) and by the right to protection of privacy and personal data should be ensured, as should high IT security, so that the possibility of new accident risks due to remote manipulation of on-board systems or conflicts of compatibility is excluded; recommends that the principle of ownership of data be explored;

33.  Stresses the importance of making use of reliable position and time information from satellite-based positioning systems and of applying the EGNOS/GNSS system to road-active safety; calls for more efforts to be made in order to achieve an EGNOS/GNSS road-active safety accuracy of less than one metre, with a view to a shift from the system's ability to reduce vehicle speed to its ability to automatically intervene and deviate the vehicle trajectory; calls for the promotion of enhanced road safety by integrating EGNOS/GNSS data with on-board control systems;

Safety measures for accident prevention

34.  Welcomes the fact that emergency braking is already mandatory, since November 2015, for all new trucks and buses in the EU, but calls on the Commission to make it compulsory to install automatic emergency braking assistants with detection of pedestrians, cyclists, light powered two-wheelers and motorcyclists in cars, light commercial vehicles, buses, coaches and, especially, heavy goods vehicles, as these have a strong potential to prevent road accidents by means of autonomous powerful braking and a resulting shorter stopping distance;

35.  Calls for safer front-end design of heavy goods vehicles related to better vision of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as for barriers to avoid collisions and mitigate consequences of collisions;

36.  Calls for the compulsory installation of overridable intelligent speed assistant systems that indicate speed limits, stop signs and traffic lights and intervene to assist drivers to remain within speed limits; calls on Member States to ensure that road signs are kept in excellent condition and that road markings are clearly legible; emphasises that for the proper working of intelligent assistant systems it is necessary to have updated online road maps with current speed limit indications;

37.  Stresses that, in order to improve road safety, the deceleration of vehicles should be rendered easier for other road users to perceive by means of clear signal lights on vehicles, and expects the compulsory use of an emergency braking indicator in the form of a flashing brake light or flashing hazard lights;

38.  Stresses that in view of its relevance to road safety, an overridable lane-keeping assistance that not only warns but also appropriately intervenes, albeit without preventing drivers from acting directly, should be made compulsory; notes that for using this warning system it is necessary that road markings are kept in a condition ensuring that they are clearly recognisable;

39.  Emphasises that increasing the direct vision of the driver in heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches and reducing or eliminating blind spots are vital for improving the road safety of such vehicles; calls on the Commission, therefore, to mandate ambitious differentiated direct vision standards and to make it compulsory to install front, side and rear cameras, sensors and turning assistant systems, while observing that such measures should accord with Directive (EU) 2015/719 and should not result in any extension of the time limits for implementation laid down therein;

40.  Stresses the need to provide preconditions for installing alcohol interlock devices and systems to detect driver distraction and drowsiness, and urges the use of alcohol interlocks for professional drivers and for drivers who have caused a traffic accident under the influence of alcohol and have therefore been convicted of a drunk driving offence, as a rehabilitation measure;

41.  Observes that trucks are involved in 15 % of road fatalities, and that vulnerable road users account for approximately 1 000 truck-related fatalities every year; calls on the Commission, therefore, to accelerate the mandatory introduction for trucks of ambitious differentiated direct vision standards, intelligent speed assistance, and automatic emergency braking systems with cyclist and pedestrian detection;

Safety measures to mitigate the effects of accidents

42.  Observes that tyre pressure has significant implications for road safety and fuel consumption as well as for emissions; calls on the Commission, therefore, to make it compulsory to install direct tyre pressure monitoring systems; also calls on the Commission to transpose into EU law the tyre pressure measurement systems amendments aimed at delivering in real world conditions agreed at UNECE;

43.  Considers it necessary to make it compulsory to install intelligent seatbelt reminder systems for all front seats for all vehicles and for rear seats for M1 and N1 vehicles;

44.  Considers it important to make it compulsory to install automated seatbelt adjustment systems in order to avoid neck damage;

45.  Calls on the Commission, from 2019, to extend the eCall installation requirement to motorcycles, heavy goods vehicles and buses and coaches, and also to make the system available for retrofitting so as to ensure that it can cover the highest possible numbers of vehicles on the road;

46.  Calls for accurate and reliable EU-wide accident statistics, including statistics on the causes of accidents, exposure data and listing of injuries and accident victims, and observes that an event data recorder could be very helpful in this connection, in which context the data must be kept anonymous and used only for purposes of accident research;

47.  Calls for data to be collected throughout the EU on vehicle occupants killed or injured due to causes other than collisions; notes that there are no data available on vehicle heat-stroke casualties;

48.  Calls for better fire safety rules for buses and coaches with different types of power, including CNG-powered buses, to maximise the protection of passenger safety;

49.  Observes that redesigned front underrun protection of trucks could reduce fatalities in head-on collisions between cars and trucks by 20 %; calls on the Commission to mandate improved energy-absorbing front underrun protection for all new trucks;

50.  Calls for compulsory frontal, side and rear-end crash tests for:

(a)  all-terrain vehicles (SUVs) with raised seats and a maximum weight of more than 2 500 kg; and

(b)  electrically propelled vehicles and vehicles with other new propulsion technologies;

51.  Calls on the Commission to also update the testing requirements for motor vehicle passive safety systems so as to include protection of all vulnerable road users in front and rear impacts, including not only pedestrians but also cyclists;

52.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the market will have sufficient and realistic time to adapt to these measures;

53.  Stresses that Directive (EU) 2015/719 on weights and dimensions of heavy goods vehicles has great potential to improve truck safety; calls on the Commission to accelerate work on this directive and come forward with its assessment without delay;

oo   o

54.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1)

OJ L 200, 31.7.2009, p. 1.

(2)

OJ L 35, 4.2.2009, p. 1.

(3)

OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, p. 134.

(4)

OJ L 68, 13.3.2015, p. 9.

(5)

OJ L 115, 6.5.2015, p. 1.

(6)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0310.

(7)

Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0228.

(8)

OJ C 75, 26.2.2016, p. 49.

(9)

OJ C 56E, 26.2.2013, p. 54.

(10)

OJ C 168E, 14.6.2013, p. 72.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

We are still far from meeting the target of halving the number of road accident victims by 2020 and achieving the Vision Zero goal of no road fatalities in Europe by 2050. It is true that we are on the right track. Europe’s roads have not only become safer, they have long been the safest in the world! Nevertheless, around 25 500 people die on Europe’s roads every year and some 135 000 people are seriously injured.

Given that road safety depends on the vehicle, the infrastructure and the driver, efficient active and passive safety measures are needed at all three levels.

Measures to increase road safety

The infrastructure factor is crucial. In particular, more account should be taken of vulnerable road users in the construction and maintenance of roads. A staggering 43 % of fatal road accident victims in urban areas are pedestrians and cyclists. The separation of transport modes and the construction and development of cycle paths are solutions on which the Member States should focus more. Moreover, driver assistance systems function only in conjunction with a well-developed and maintained infrastructure. This means, inter alia, that road signs must be clearly legible and road markings must be easy to identify.

However, the human factor is also highly significant, and the rapporteur therefore considers it important to oblige Member States to conduct more checks on road traffic to improve road safety. Percentages of vehicles to be checked have already been set for certain vehicle categories (e.g. M2, M3, N2, N3), and the Commission should also consider similar action for M1 and N2 vehicles.

It is also essential to ensure improved availability of accident statistics and databases. Existing statistics and databases are very patchy. It would be useful to list the causes of accidents, injuries and accident victims, as they are an important source of information for research and development of safety measures.

Mandatory installation of safety-related driver assistance systems

The vehicle factor is fundamental for road safety. The fact that car occupants account for 45 % of fatalities, while around 95 % of all accidents are caused by human error such as the driver not being fit to drive, overload, miscalculation and distraction, leads to the conclusion that a legislative obligation to install safety-related driver assistance systems is urgently needed.

Driver safety systems make a key contribution to improving and correcting behaviour conducive to human error and thereby play an essential role in improving road safety. As well as avoiding human error and traffic accidents, driver assistance systems can reduce fuel/energy consumption and optimise traffic flows.

The emphasis on vehicle safety also has an influence on research, development and innovation in Europe and helps create jobs. Moreover, the mandatory installation of driver assistance systems will pave the way for automated and ultimately autonomous driving, since this has long since ceased to be a vision for the distant future. This is a win-win situation which we need to shape wisely.

We can shape the legislation wisely only if the revision of Regulation 661/2009 is not further delayed and the Commission submits a corresponding proposal by the beginning of 2018. This will make it possible to take a further significant step towards improving road safety.

We can also shape the legislation wisely only if we do not see it as a general wish list for the installation of driver assistance systems. The rapporteur takes the view that it should be compulsory to install only those driver assistance systems which make a genuine contribution to road safety, which have a favourable cost-benefit ratio and which have attained market maturity, and which therefore rarely give false alarms. In the rapporteur’s view, this applies to the following driver assistance systems as active and passive safety measures:

- automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian and cyclist detection

- emergency braking display

- smart assistance linked to the speed-limit display

- lane-keeping assistance

- turning assistance and cameras for heavy goods vehicles to reduce blind spots

- tyre pressure monitoring systems

- seatbelt reminders for rear seats

- eCall for motorcycles.

Virtually all manufacturers now offer driver assistance packages and around a quarter of all new cars are equipped with one or more driver assistance systems, but conversely this means that three quarters of vehicles do not have any driver assistance systems apart from those prescribed by law. The reason is no doubt the extra cost of driver assistance systems. The rapporteur is of the opinion that road safety should not be a question of money and therefore all drivers should benefit from safety-related driver assistance systems. As a matter of principle, road safety should not depend on EU citizens’ wallets.

Arguments to the effect that the price of new vehicles will shoot up as a result of the mandatory installation of driver assistance systems can be countered by the fact that the bundling of technologies, such as the simultaneous use of cameras for intelligent assistance to indicate speed limits and for lane keeping assistance, combined with the high volume of components produced, means that prices will not increase significantly.

In addition, we can shape legislation wisely by ensuring that it lays down specific rules and timeframes that will make realistic implementation possible and thus provide planning certainty for the industry. This, however, is a task that should be carried out as part of the revision of the legislation itself, and these specific rules therefore fall outside the scope of this own-initiative report.


OPINION of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (28.9.2017)

for the Committee on Transport and Tourism

on saving lives: boosting car safety in the EU

(2017/2085(INI))

Rapporteur (*): Daniel Dalton

(*) Associated committee – Rule 54 of the Rules of Procedure

SUGGESTIONS

The Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection calls on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following suggestions into its motion for a resolution:

1.  Notes with regret that, in 2016, 25 500 people across the European Union lost their lives in road accidents, and a further 135 000 were seriously injured;

2.  Acknowledges the progress made by the Union in reducing road accidents and the associated costs thanks to its vehicle safety legislation introduced over the years; stresses that fatality reduction rates have nevertheless plateaued in recent years, and considers that further efforts should be made in order to meet the EU’s target of halving the number of road deaths between 2010 and 2020;

3.  Recognises that, although car occupants have benefited from improved vehicle safety, the share of deaths of unprotected road users is increasing; considers that there should be a focus on vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists in future activities;

4.  Recognises that improving road safety in the EU is essential to reduce the number of fatalities and serious injuries suffered on roads in the European Union; therefore welcomes the list of safety technologies published by the Commission for inclusion in the next revision of the rules;

5.  Considers that the benefits of improved safety standards and equipment can be realised only if existing and future provisions are implemented and enforced effectively; calls, in that regard, for increased European-level oversight of type-approval authorities and technical services in the Union; calls, in addition, for greater and more independent post-market surveillance of vehicles on roads across the Union to ensure that they continue to conform to safety criteria;

6.  Considers that improving road safety requires a coherent and integrated approach and calls for the mainstreaming of road safety issues in all relevant policy areas, including environmental awareness, consumer policy and cooperation in police and judicial matters;

7.  Stresses that a coherent road safety policy must include all factors, such as drivers’ behaviour, road infrastructure and vehicle safety features; to this end, it is essential to have access to high-quality comparable data that can be used for the purposes of behavioural anticipation and the development of technical solutions, while respecting the data privacy of users;

8.  Considers that technical inspections in the Member States should include verification that vehicle safety features are fully operational; this should apply to both active and passive safety features;

9.  Stresses that, when non-conformities are identified, European consumers should be able to count on rapid, appropriate and coordinated corrective measures, including Union-wide vehicle recall where necessary; considers that economic operators should be liable for any damage caused to owners of affected vehicles as a result of non-compliance or following a recall;

10.  Believes that a full cost-benefit analysis in the form of adequate ex ante impact assessments by the Commission is essential for any new Union safety requirements, and that particular consideration should be given to carefully balancing the likely costs to industry and wider societal benefits with regard to lives saved and injuries prevented; recommends, furthermore, that the implementation of new EU road safety requirements be coordinated with the activities of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE); recommends that Europe should remain ambitious as a global leader in order to achieve higher, global safety standards and reduce road casualties; considers that such an objective can encourage innovation and investment within the EU, stimulate the competitiveness of our industries and help generate employment;

11.  Is of the opinion that any new EU safety measures should be proportional to the design and production challenges facing small-volume and bespoke manufacturers;

12.  Welcomes the fact that almost all cars tested by the Euro NCAP consumer testing programme are awarded five stars and that the majority of car manufacturers have successfully responded to the challenge of meeting the new Euro NCAP requirements; notes, however, that not all car models sold in Europe are tested by Euro NCAP, and not all of the same type are sold with the same specification, which may be unclear to consumers and thus present a false level of confidence in the vehicle in relation to the actual performance of the model purchased; recalls the importance therefore of a strong underlying standard of mandatory safety requirements which ensure that all necessary safety equipment is present across the fleet used and sold in the European Union;

13.  Welcomes the improvements that market-led technological developments have already brought to EU road safety, and encourages the continued exploration of the opportunities the digital revolution offers in that regard, in compliance with Union legislation such as that on data protection and privacy; considers it important to further explore the principle of data ownership; calls for continuing research and the development of new standards in autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assistance and reverse detection technologies for motor vehicles and high-vision cabins and front-end blind-spot cameras and detection for HGVs; calls for better and a more effective collection and exchange of information and data between all stakeholders regarding research into the causes of accidents, whereby this data is freely collected and exchanged for further analysis; considers that the EU can support the development of fully autonomous vehicles in the coming years, which will revolutionise the automobile sector, especially in terms of road safety;

14.  Calls on the Commission to bring forward requirements administered under type-approval processes to improve pedestrian and cyclist awareness and safety as regards heavy-duty vehicles with large blind-spot zones; recalls the requirements in the Weights and Dimensions Directive (96/63/EC) as amended by Directive (EU) 2015/719, and calls for the Commission’s mandate to be reviewed to ensure that it is fit for purpose or renewed in future legislation to give legal certainty to allow action in this area;

15.  Calls on the Commission to consider the inclusion in future proposals of mandatory tyre-pressure monitoring systems, fire extinguishers, hammers/window-glass breakers and seatbelt cutters, in all vehicles;

16.  Welcomes the mandatory nature of the provisions being sought by the classification body, which could contribute to more uniform levels of protection, and stresses the importance thereof;

17.  Welcomes the list of safety technologies published by the Commission in December for inclusion in the next revision of the rules; recognises that making driver-assistance technologies such as automated emergency braking and intelligent speed assistance standard features will also help Europe’s pathway to higher levels of automation; calls for standardising and independently testing such features in order to prepare the ground for self-driving vehicles;

18.  Maintains that the EU and its research centres should play a leading role in the development of autonomous vehicles, which will revolutionise the automobile sector, especially in terms of road safety, where they are expected to save thousands of lives every year, as well as contributing to the digitalisation of the internal market;

19.  Recognises the added value of retrofitting older vehicles, where appropriate, with additional safety features included in newer models; believes that incentivising retrofitting through tax reductions and lower insurance premiums could be an effective tool in enhancing vehicle safety in Europe.

INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

Date adopted

28.9.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

34

2

1

Members present for the final vote

John Stuart Agnew, Pascal Arimont, Dita Charanzová, Carlos Coelho, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Daniel Dalton, Nicola Danti, Pascal Durand, Evelyne Gebhardt, Maria Grapini, Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Philippe Juvin, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Jiří Maštálka, Eva Maydell, Marlene Mizzi, Nosheena Mobarik, Jiří Pospíšil, Marcus Pretzell, Virginie Rozière, Christel Schaldemose, Olga Sehnalová, Igor Šoltes, Ivan Štefanec, Catherine Stihler, Mihai Ţurcanu, Anneleen Van Bossuyt, Marco Zullo

Substitutes present for the final vote

Lucy Anderson, Edward Czesak, Kaja Kallas, Adam Szejnfeld, Matthijs van Miltenburg, Lambert van Nistelrooij

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Vladimir Urutchev

FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE ASKED FOR OPINION

34

+

ALDE

Dita Charanzová, Kaja Kallas, Matthijs van Miltenburg

ECR

Edward Czesak, Daniel Dalton Nosheena Mobarik, Anneleen Van Bossuyt

EFDD

Marco Zullo

GUE/NGL

Jiří Maštálka

PPE

Pascal Arimont, Carlos Coelho, Anna Maria Corazza Bildt, Philippe Juvin, Antonio López-Istúriz White, Eva Maydell, Jiří Pospíšil, Adam Szejnfeld, Vladimir Urutchev, Lambert van Nistelrooij, Ivan Štefanec, Mihai Ţurcanu

S&D

Lucy Anderson, Sergio Gaetano Cofferati, Nicola Danti, Evelyne Gebhardt, Maria Grapini, Liisa Jaakonsaari, Marlene Mizzi, Virginie Rozière, Christel Schaldemose, Olga Sehnalová, Catherine Stihler

Verts/ALE

Pascal Durand, Igor Šoltes

2

-

EFDD

Robert Jarosław Iwaszkiewicz

ENF

Marcus Pretzell

1

0

EFDD

John Stuart Agnew

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention


INFORMATION ON ADOPTION IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

Date adopted

12.10.2017

 

 

 

Result of final vote

+:

–:

0:

43

1

1

Members present for the final vote

Daniela Aiuto, Lucy Anderson, Marie-Christine Arnautu, Inés Ayala Sender, Georges Bach, Deirdre Clune, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Andor Deli, Isabella De Monte, Ismail Ertug, Jacqueline Foster, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Merja Kyllönen, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Bogusław Liberadzki, Peter Lundgren, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Renaud Muselier, Jens Nilsson, Markus Pieper, Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Gabriele Preuß, Christine Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy, Dominique Riquet, Massimiliano Salini, Claudia Țapardel, Keith Taylor, Pavel Telička, István Ujhelyi, Wim van de Camp, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Janusz Zemke, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

Substitutes present for the final vote

Lars Adaktusson, Francisco Assis, Burkhard Balz, Hugues Bayet, Ivo Belet, Udo Bullmann, Nicola Caputo, Matt Carthy, Alberto Cirio, Rosa D’Amato, Daniel Dalton, Jakop Dalunde, Mark Demesmaeker, Martina Dlabajová, Bas Eickhout, André Elissen, Rosa Estaràs Ferragut, Jill Evans, Markus Ferber, Knut Fleckenstein, Michael Gahler, Enrico Gasbarra, Maria Grapini, Karoline Graswander-Hainz, Theresa Griffin, Kateřina Konečná, Peter Kouroumbashev, Werner Kuhn, Philippe Loiseau, Ramona Nicole Mănescu, Rolandas Paksas, Bolesław G. Piecha, João Pimenta Lopes, Marek Plura, Franck Proust, Jozo Radoš, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández, Ulrike Rodust, Jens Rohde, Olga Sehnalová, Patricija Šulin, Pavel Svoboda, Dario Tamburrano, Ivica Tolić, Evžen Tošenovský, Matthijs van Miltenburg, Henna Virkkunen

Substitutes under Rule 200(2) present for the final vote

Herbert Dorfmann, Jaromír Kohlíček


FINAL VOTE BY ROLL CALL IN COMMITTEE RESPONSIBLE

43

+

ALDE

Jozo Radoš, Dominique Riquet, Pavel Telička, Matthijs van Miltenburg

ECR

Tomasz Piotr Poręba, Evžen Tošenovský, Roberts Zīle, Kosma Złotowski

EFDD

Daniela Aiuto, Peter Lundgren

EPP

Georges Bach, Deirdre Clune, Andor Deli, Herbert Dorfmann, Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, Cláudia Monteiro de Aguiar, Renaud Muselier, Markus Pieper, Massimiliano Salini, Henna Virkkunen, Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi, Luis de Grandes Pascual, Wim van de Camp, Elżbieta Katarzyna Łukacijewska

GUE/NGL

Jaromír Kohlíček, Kateřina Konečná, Merja Kyllönen

S&D

Lucy Anderson, Inés Ayala Sender, Isabella De Monte, Ismail Ertug, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Bogusław Liberadzki, Jens Nilsson, Gabriele Preuß, Christine Revault d'Allonnes Bonnefoy, Olga Sehnalová, István Ujhelyi, Janusz Zemke, Claudia Țapardel

Verts/ALE

Jakop Dalunde, Bas Eickhout, Keith Taylor

1

-

ECR

Jacqueline Foster

1

0

ENF

Marie-Christine Arnautu

Key to symbols:

+  :  in favour

-  :  against

0  :  abstention

Last updated: 31 October 2017Legal notice