Design improvements for better truck safety delayed till 2022
Publication date: 10 March 2015
On 10 March, the European Parliament approved amendments to the Directive on the maximum authorised dimensions and weights for trucks and buses. The final agreement allows for much needed design adaptations to make cabs safer, but only following a revision by the European Commission of the cab type-approval. This means that manufacturers will not be required to implement these changes until 2022. It further retains each Member State’s right to decide whether or not they want to allow the use of mega trucks cross-border. FIA Region I welcomes the revisions of the Directive that will make trucks safer and respects Member States’ rights. However, it is clear that vested interests have managed to delay implementation of the new cab design through the extended period for revision of the current type-approval. This decision may also delay the Commission’s target of halving road deaths in Europe by 2020.
FIA Region I Director General, Jacob Bangsgaard said: “The goal of this Directive was safer trucks on European roads and the FIA is pleased that it has, finally, been approved. But the timeline given to the Commission will delay necessary changes that should be implemented right away for better efficiency and safety. We know that truck drivers currently suffer from a lack of visibility that can cause grievous harm to vulnerable road users. This is why, in this case, the final timeline lets down road users and does not serve the cab drivers either. We had hoped to see a more disciplined time frame to implement these design improvements that would allow those manufacturers who are ready now to make safer and more fuel efficient cab designs the opportunity to do so for the benefit of all.”
Amendments to this Directive were necessary to improve road safety and there must be for further action to improve vehicle safety and environmental standards, including the mandating of driver assistance systems to protect vulnerable road users. On the issue of mega trucks, Member States should be encouraged to carry out impact assessments before allowing the use of longer trucks on national roads.
To raise awareness of vulnerable road users, such as bikes, scooters and motorcycles, the FIA is launching a pan-European ‘Think Bikes’ campaign with a special focus on the visibility inside the cab of a truck. The ‘Think Bikes’ event will take place on 21 April at Place du Luxembourg in front of the European Parliament from 12:00 to 14:00 with the participation of Belgian cycling star, Eddy Merckx; Belgian motorsport champion Jacky Ickx; MEP, Wim van de Camp; and FIA Region I President, Thierry Willemarck. At the event, there will be the chance to experience the limited visibility of a truck driver by sitting in the cab of a commercial vehicle, provided by the IRU. There will also be a demonstration of innovative bike lighting technology to alert drivers to the presence of cyclists by the company Blaze, and the chance to pick up stickers that can be added to a car’s side mirrors to remind drivers to keep an eye out for cyclists. Participation in this open air event is open to all, in hopes to raise awareness among all road users to "Think Bikes"! Learn more about the event.
NOTES TO EDITORS
About FIA Region I
FIA Region I is a consumer body representing 111 Motoring and Touring Clubs and their 38 million members from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The FIA represents the interests of our members as motorists, riders, pedestrians and passengers.
FIA Region I is working to ensure safe, affordable, clean and efficient mobility for all. www.fiaregion1.com
Communications Manager, FIA Region I
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