Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Better safe than sorry - on new road safety rules

Did you know that more than 5 people die on Europe's roads every day in accidents caused by a technical failure of a vehicle? Did you know that technical defects are responsible for 6% of all car accidents and 8% of all motorcycle accidents? In order to prevent such tragic outcomes, the EU decided to toughen its rules on vehicle checks. One could say, it's the highest time to introduce new rules, since the current minimum standards for vehicle checks date back to 1977 and don't foresee for inspections of such important mechanisms as, e.g., ABS. That's not what we want to hear when we are heading out for our holidays in our cars and would like to think that the chances of the car that comes towards us from another direction swerving suddenly into our lane are none to slim.

The new proposal of the European Commission introduces compulsory EU wide testing for scooters and motorbikes. It will also demand more frequent periodic checks of road-worthiness for old vehicles, as well as for cars and vans with exceptionally high mileage. The latter ones would have to fulfil the same requirements as taxis or ambulances. Not only the objects of the tests are to change, but also its substance. The EC intends to set minimum standards for deficiencies, equipment and inspectors, as well as make electronic safety components subject to mandatory testing. Finally, the proposal includes provisions that are to limit mileage fraud, with registered mileage readings.

"If you're driving a car which is not fit to be on the road, you're a danger to yourself and to everyone else in your car – your family, your friends, your business colleagues. What's more, you’re a danger to all the other road users around you. It's not complicated; we don't want these potentially lethal cars on our roads." said Vice President of Transport, Siim Kallas (Tougher vehicle testing rules to save lives)

The whole new legislative package is presented in the FAQ format.
If you'd like to read more about EU road safety plan 2011-2020 - see the guidelines and visit the road safety page.

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