Advanced safety features are set to be made mandatory for new cars, vans and trucks after Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted to support a package of measures aimed at improving road safety.

From May 2022, intelligent speed assistance (ISA) and advanced emergency-braking systems will be among systems that will have to be installed in new vehicles.

These rules will, the European Parliament explains, require almost 30 different features or systems to be introduced in new vehicles of different types.

While the majority of technologies will become mandatory in May 2022 for new models, the date for existing models to comply is currently set at May 2024.

Included in the changes is “direct vision” for trucks, enabling drivers to have a better view of cyclists and pedestrians. Direct vision technology will apply to new models from November 2025 and to existing ones from November 2028.

Also in the package is a requirement for ISA to be introduced — something that could reduce fatalities on EU roads by 20%. (In 2017, more than 25,000 people died in road accidents in the Member States, with 135,000 seriously injured.)

ISA will provide a driver with feedback, based on maps and road sign observation, when the local speed limit is exceeded.

MEP Róża Thun, who has helped steer the proposal through the European Parliament, said: “We do not introduce a speed limiter, but an intelligent system which will make drivers fully aware when they’re speeding.”

Other systems to be introduced in new vehicles include: automated emergency braking, advanced driver distraction warning, emergency lane keeping, reversing detection system, an alcohol interlock installation facilitation, and an emergency stop signal.

All vehicles will also be equipped with event data recorders, which will store critical crash-related data a few seconds before a crash, providing crucial information for accident analysis.

The rules agreed by the committee of MEPs must still be approved by the full Parliament and the Council of Ministers (expected to be a formality), and the implementation dates given above are therefore provisional at this stage.

Last reviewed 15 April 2019