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Euro NCAP’S New Ratings: Breakfast Meeting with MEPs

Publication date: 20 September 2011

Euro NCAP Secretary General Michiel van Ratingen with Bernd Lange MEP

Euro NCAP and the future of its star rating system was the subject for discussion at the latest Forum for the Automobile and Society meeting which was held in the European Parliament on 20th September. The meeting was chaired by Bernd Lange MEP, with Malcolm Harbour MEP offering his views and Martin Callanan MEP giving closing remarks. Also speaking at the event were the Director General of the FIA Brussels office, Jacob Bangsgaard and the Secretary General of Euro NCAP, Michiel van Ratingen.

Mr Bangsgaard said that a new safety group set up by the FIA in 1994 found that EU crash test requirements were far too limited. As a result, the FIA pushed for the set up Euro NCAP as an independent car assessment programme in 1996 with the support of the Departments of Transport in the UK and Sweden.

Commenting on the key role played by Euro NCAP in promoting consumer safety since, he said: “The success of the programme has surpassed what anyone could have expected. The Euro NCAP star rating system has become a recognised benchmark for safety. The consumer recognition has given the incentive to produce 5 star cars.”

Looking to the future, he outlined a range of future challenges:  the safety of cars in emerging markets in Asia and Latin America; the promotion of advanced safety technologies which can prevent accidents from happening in the first place; training drivers for new in-car driver distractions such as safety warnings and navigation systems; and improved post-crash care through systems like eCall and the 'Rescue Sheets' that many European automobile clubs are promoting today.

Mr Bangsgaard concluded by saying, “FIA spends millions of Euro each year on road safety to push for the development of 5 star roads - 5 star drivers - and 5 star vehicles.  Euro NCAP has been a corner piece in this puzzle and their effort to push for both passive and active safety has been very successful. This has resulted in thousands of lives being saved on the roads, but more will need to be done in the future as we are far from where we should be, which is zero fatalities in the traffic.”

Mr van Ratingen speaking with FIA Region I Director General Jacob Bangsgaard and Malcolm Harbour MEP.

Bernd Lange MEP addressing the breakfast meeting.

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