The European Parliament has accepted last year’s voluntary agreement between the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association on pedestrian safety, so long as Brussels proposes a Framework Directive underpinning the deal with legal commitments, writes Jonathan Thomson.

The move is seen as a compromise between MEPs opposing a detailed Directive laying down specific rules on car design and those in the European Parliament that do not trust car makers to introduce measures to protecting pedestrians.

Under the voluntary agreement, European car makers, (whose deal has been reflected by two struck with Japanese and Korean manufacturers), will meet standards on head and leg impacts relating to the front chassis and window area of vehicles.

A spokesman for the European Parliament said the Framework Directive would have the same legal clout as a fully-blown Directive but would be “light” on detail to allow for flexibility.

She said MEP’s expect the Framework Directive to legally cement the car makers’ voluntary agreement, which has included a ban on the supply and fitting of bull bars. The European Commission has promised a draft by the end of the year.

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