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ETSC

ETSC is engaged on road safety from ever. Now it is also working on proposed changes of General Safety Regulation (EC) No 661/2009. The Regulation specifies the mandatory fitting of a number of safety features on motor-vehicles including Seat Belt Reminders, Electronic Stability Control Systems, Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems, ISOFIX anchors for Child Restraint Systems and Electric shock protection on electric and hybrid vehicles. Could you anticipate for EFA’s members any news regarding the “introduction” of ISA vehicles?

We understand the European Commission will propose a revision of vehicle safety rules later this year, or early next year. We would like overidable intelligent speed assistance (ISA) to be fitted in all new cars. It could lead to a reduction in road deaths of 20%. Many cars and GPS navigation systems already alert drivers to speed limits, this technology would assist the driver in sticking to the speed limit by putting extra resistance on the accelerator pedal – though could be overridden. Now that we are starting to imagine a world of fully automated cars, these kinds of technologies, along with automated emergency braking (AEB) and lane departure warning systems (LDWS) will help drivers gradually adjust to automated systems.

Is very likely to be introduced the obligation of the rear seat belt reminders for the passenger cars. You think that Europeans can willingly accept the novelty. People are not very accustomed to the use of seat belts in the rear seats ..

Italy has one of the worst records in Europe of compliance with seat belt laws, particularly in the back seat. This could be partly due to a lack of enforcement of legislation. But other countries do much better. For example, the latest 2014 data for the UK show 90% of rear seat passengers wore their belts. A simple technology like seat belt reminders can help solve this problem.

It is important. Unbelted passengers in the back can kill or seriously injure front seat passengers as they are thrown forward in a collision. A large proportion of those who die in collisions are unbelted car occupants. We estimate that 99% of people would wear their seatbelt if a reminder system was fitted on all seats, and that could save 900 lives a year in Europe.

The device alcoolock (which may block the vehicle ignition if the driver has been drinking) is now a reality. What would be the advantages and possible difficulties for its use on a large scale?

We can start by targeting the technology at those that have already been convicted of drink driving. Studies have shown that reoffending rates can be dramatically cut when people are required to install an alcohol interlock. Several countries in Europe are already using the devices in these cases with positive results.

One major obstacle is that there is currently no standardised way of connecting an alcohol interlock to a car. The EU could easily fix this problem – to ensure that a device can be connected easily to any car sold in Europe.

We also think that it makes sense to fit the devices to professional vehicles. Lorry and bus collisions can be catastrophic so it is crucial that drink driving is eliminated from this group. There is also a strong business case for lorry and bus fleets to fit the devices because collisions can be so harmful to reputations and customer relationships compared to the costs of installation.

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