Slovenian club pushes Electronic Stability Control
Publication date: 07 March 2008
Taking advantage of its excellent government contacts during a period in which Slovenia holds the six-month rotating EU Presidency, national club AMZS has been campaigning hard for Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
Up until the end of June, Slovenia holds the Presidency of the EU. As a central part of its on-going policy activities, national automobile club AMZS is calling on the Slovenian government to use the unique opportunity of the EU Presidency to finally make ESC mandatory throughout the EU. Slovenia itself, according to AMZS, could also show the way on ESC by taking advantage of its small and relatively mature vehicle market. "Slovenia could become an excellent and distinctive European example confirming the importance of ESC devices in vehicles," notes the club.
“ESC is one of the greatest inventions in the field of car safety since the seat belt,” according to AMZS. “The US has already decided for legislative introduction of ESC devices in all new vehicles on sale from 2012. In a small but mature market like Slovenia such measures can be adopted in a relatively short period of time. And the resulting greater level of safety can be perceived more rapidly,” argues the association. The AMZS initiative for ESC follows on from that of the FIA. At an event in the European Parliament in January, FIA President Max Mosley once again called on the European Commission to honor its commitments by having Electronic Stability Control (ESC) fitted on all new cars by 2012. ESC, also called eSafety, controls the braking system of a motor vehicle so as to avoid over- or under-steering thereby helping drivers retain control of vehicles. AMZS cites studies indicating that ESC systems, if fitted on all systems, could save between EUR 10 and 16 billion annually. ESC would also save some 1800 lives between 2008 and 2012 and avoid injuries to 40,000 persons.
AMZS teaches “eko” driving to presidential candidates
AMZS is not just pushing for policy action at Slovenian and EU level. The club is actively promoting awareness of the benefits of ESC for car safety amongst Slovenian drivers. In addition to this, AMZS recently organized an excellent media event presenting ESC technology to presidential candidates and to the public. “Candidates were invited to sit behind the wheel of a car and drive to a selected destination in their usual manner. This was followed by a lesson on eco-driving techniques delivered by one of our instructors. He then rode back with the candidates, encouraging them to drive in an EKO-friendly manner,” notes the club. No doubt aware of the electoral impact of publishing the driving results of the candidates, AMZS observed that all presidential candidates drove significantly more efficiently and safely on the return trip. The event was also used to present ESC and call on candidates to support AMZS' initiative to make ESC standard equipment in all vehicles sold in Slovenia during the candidate's presidency. In May 2008, AMZS intends to carry out similar promotional and educational events as Slovenia's EU Presidency draws to a close.
Another major element in AMZS' approach to greater road safety is training. The AMZS welcomes the decision of the Slovene government to introduce a legal obligation of training young drivers at suitably equipped centers. More concretely, the AMZS is currently investing over EUR 10 million to build Slovenia's most technologically advanced test and training center at Vransko.
AMZS policy action
In a policy document addressed to the Slovenian government at the start of its EU Presidency, AMZS concentrates, aside from a call for ESC in all European cars and greater eSafety, on environmental and mobility issues.