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  • EU lawmakers support life-saving ‘direct vision’ cabs for trucks and buses

    The European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee today backed safer ‘direct vision’ trucks and buses [1], amongst a dozen new life-saving measures for cars, vans, buses and trucks. The new direct vision standard will drastically reduce deadly blindspots, enabling truck and bus drivers to see more of the road around the vehicle, thus preventing accidents with cyclists and pedestrians. The European federation of green NGOs, Transport & Environment, welcomes the vote but stresses the urgency of wrapping up this law before European Parliamentary elections in May. Failing to reach a deal before this Parliament mandate would mean another 18 months wasted to save lives.

    Currently there are no rules in place governing the amount of the road truck and bus drivers must be able to see. However, research clearly shows that trucks with low-entry cabs, which many European manufacturers already make, have excellent direct vision and prevent road fatalities. One thousand cyclists and pedestrians die every year in truck collisions. The Commission found that improving the direct vision performance of trucks would save up to 550 lives per year.

    Samuel Kenny, transport safety officer of Transport & Environment, said: “Today’s key Parliament vote moves us one step closer to safer roads for all Europeans. The Parliament brought forward the implementation of this key safety feature and improved it. Truckmakers will have to remove the blindspots in front of the driver seat and significantly reduce the blindspots through the side windows. This is good for drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and will help EU countries save lives on their roads.”

    Trucks are about 2% of vehicles on the road but represent 15% of fatalities.

    The EU has the exclusive competence to mandate safety improvements for new cars, vans, buses and trucks. The last new safety requirements date back to 2009 and their review and update were long overdue.

    For the past two years, several institutions and governments including 18 major European cities and eight EU countries led by Germany, Italy and France have demanded direct vision standards for trucks.

    The industry ministers of the 28 EU member states have already agreed a position on this legislation. Negotiations between Parliament and Council have been scheduled for March 14th and 25th.