Ireland South MEP and member of the EU Transport Committee Deirdre Clune has joined other MEPs in the European Parliament in voting to make driver assistance compulsory in new cars.
During the debate and subsequent vote on road safety measures Clune expressed her concern at figures from An Garda Siochana which show that they are still catching over 1000 people every month for not wearing their seat belt. Speaking as figures show that Irelands road deaths are lower (130) than at the same time last year (163), Clune said we need to use new technology to help further curb road deaths.
“The Vote in the European Parliament will ensure that all new cars sold in Europe should be fitted as standard with a range of life-saving technologies including automated emergency braking, intelligent speed assistance and seatbelt reminders in all seats.
“I think it is frightening that Gardaí issued fixed notices to 1,304 people last April alone for not wearing a seat belt. According to the RSA, you are 60% less likely to be killed or seriously injured if you are wearing a seatbelt. Around 95% of road accidents are caused by human error and I think it is time that we used driver assistance technology to reduce the dependency on drivers to avoid accidents.
“There are new technologies that can help to avoid accidents and detect vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. We should be using these technologies as standard!
“Intelligent Speed Assistance, an overridable technology that helps drivers keep to the current speed limit is already offered by several manufacturers in Europe including Ford, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volvo.
Over 26,000 people lose their life annually on EU roads. As of the 13th of November 130 people have so far lost their life on Irish roads in 2017, which is considerably lower than the same time last year (163). Clune welcomed the progress but pointed out that small changes can help to further lower the death rate from accidents on our roads.
EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc has supported the new measures and has said she will be bringing forward a roads package in early 2018 to implement the changes.
Measures to be included in new cars manufactured in Europe.
· Seatbelt reminders for rear seats of newly manufactured cars
· Automatic emergency braking systems with pedestrian and cyclist detection
· Emergency braking display
· Speed Assistance technology
· Lane-keeping assistance
· Turning assistance and cameras for heavy goods vehicles to reduce blind spots
· Tyre pressure monitoring systems
· eCall for motorcycles.
· Serious injuries target related to road accidents
· Alcohol interlocks
· Improved training for drivers
· Direct vision standards for trucks