Brussels wants obligatory safety systems in cars from 2012

23rd May 2008, Comments 0 comments

These safety measures, if implemented, could save up to 5,000 lives on Europe every year.

23 May 2008

BRUSSELS - All new car types should be fitted with high-tech stabilising, braking and safety-warning systems from 2012, the European Union's executive proposed Friday.

And they should also be obliged to use low-resistance tyres and tyre-pressure monitors in order to boost safety and reduce carbon- dioxide (CO2) emissions, the European Commission said in a challenge to auto manufacturers around the world.

Under the proposals, which require the backing of EU member states and the European Parliament, all new models should be fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems by 2012, and all new cars regardless of model should have them by 2014.

ESC systems control the speed and braking power of a car so that it does not lose stability even in critical situations.

From 2013, large vehicles should also have Advanced Emergency Braking (AEB) systems which would tell the driver when he or she is too close to the vehicle in front and apply the brakes if necessary.

At the same time, they should also incorporate a Lane Departure Warning (LDW), which would warn the driver if he or she is in danger of crossing into another lane by mistake.

The commission says studies have found that such measures could save up to 5,000 lives a year on Europe's roads.

Meanwhile, moves to fit every new car in Europe with low- resistance tyres and tyre-pressure monitors by 2012 would cut the vehicles' fuel consumption - and hence CO2 emissions - by over 5 per cent, officials said.

The measures are expected to raise the price of a new car by up to EUR 300, but the price hike would be compensated for by the fuel savings, they said.

The proposal fires a warning shot across the bows of auto manufacturers in Europe and across the world, since it would apply equally to European-made and foreign-made cars.

However, the commission is currently under severe pressure over attempts to force auto manufacturers to reduce their vehicles' CO2 emissions - making it likely that the proposal to bring in smooth tyres will face a rocky road and could well end up severely warped before it is accepted.

[dpa / Expatica]

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