European Union (EU) institutions have reached a provisional political agreement on the revised General Safety Regulation.

From 2022, new safety technologies will become mandatory in European vehicles to protect passengers, pedestrians and cyclists.

In 2018, the Commission proposed to make certain vehicle safety measures mandatory, including systems which reduce dangerous blind spots on trucks and buses as well as technology warning the driver in case of drowsiness or distraction.

“Every year, 25,000 people lose their lives on our roads,” said Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SME Commissioner, Elzbieta Bienkowska

“The vast majority of these accidents are caused by human error. We can and must act to change this. With the new advanced safety features that will become mandatory, we can have the same kind of impact as when safety belts were first introduced.

“Many of the new features already exist, in particular in high–end vehicles. Now we raise the safety level across the board, and pave the way for connected and automated mobility of the future.”

The new mandatory safety features include:

  • For cars, vans, trucks and buses: warning of driver drowsiness and distraction (for example, smartphone use while driving), intelligent speed assistance, reversing safety with camera or sensors, and data recorder in case of an accident (black box).
  • For cars and vans: lane-keeping assistance, advanced emergency braking and crash-test improved safety belts.
  • For trucks and buses: specific requirements to improve the direct vision of bus and truck drivers and to remove blind spots, and systems at the front and side of the vehicle to detect and warn of vulnerable road users, especially when making turns.

The Commission expects the proposed measures will help save more than 25,000 lives and avoid at least 140,000 serious injuries by 2038.

This will contribute to the EU’s long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.