All new vehicles sold in the EU from 2003 will have daytime running lights and anti-lock brake systems under a commitment to protect pedestrians and cyclists made by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association and accepted yesterday by the European Commission.

Manufacturers have also pledged not to install rigid bull bars or market them as spares from 2002 and will progressively introduce other safety features including electronic sensors. The rules will apply to all new vehicles by 2012.

The European parliament and the EU national governments still have to endorse the agreement and could insist that a legally binding commitment rather than a voluntary arrangement is required.

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