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UK urged to champion vehicle safety standard improvements post-Brexit

Date: 15 August 2017   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

A number of fleet bodies have called on the government to support European Commission plans to improve new vehicle safety standards after the country leaves the EU.

Road safety charity Brake, the Association for Car Fleet Operators (ACFO), the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, the European Transport Safety Council, Living Streets, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, and RoadPeace have all signed a letter to Roads Minister Jesse Norman urging the UK to champion continued improvements post-Brexit.

Last year, the European Commission published a list of 19 safety technologies that it is considering making mandatory in the near future. These include automated emergency braking systems, updates to crash-testing requirements and the intelligent speed assistance tool.

According to the coalition of industry groups, improved minimum safety standards are needed to reduce deaths and serious injuries on UK roads.

In the letter to Norman, the groups claimed that 1,700 people were killed in collisions on roads in 2015 with that figure only reducing "slightly in recent years", according to the coalition, which also claims this figure can be reduced through the "tightening of vehicle safety standards".

"The UK Government should ensure its voice is urgently heard in Europe, supporting the introduction of all 19 safety measures listed in the EC's December 2016 report, and ensuring these measures are retained and developed further following Brexit," the letter stated. "Supporting these changes, and the others under consideration in Europe, helps Britain assert its position as a global leader in supporting safety technology advances and also supporting the drive towards Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs), strengthening our competitive position. These improved minimum vehicle safety standards, along with better investigation of the causes of crashes and injuries, are crucial to ensure the effective delivery of the 'safe system' approach adopted by Britain, driving towards the ultimate target of zero deaths on our roads."