Friday, October 19, 2018

European Road Haulage Operators Will be Affected as Mandatory Changes Evolve

Safety Lobby Attacks Proposals to Dilute European Commission Initiative
Shipping News Feature
EUROPE – A letter delivered this week to the European Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) from a group of safety experts, consumer groups, transport police, environmental campaigners, city authorities, cyclists and road accident victims, strikes out at the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) which accuses it of trying to weaken the European Commission's proposals on new vehicle safety measures. The proposals, whatever final form they take, will impact on road haulage operators as changes to truck design figure prominently.

The letter in full can be read here but amongst the points made are demands for a review of the ACEA position which insists that active, rather than passive, safety measures, that is technological advances such as cameras in lorry cabs and Automated Emergency Braking (AEB) systems are preferable, as opposed to such things as driver and passenger protection in the case of an accident, as written in the EC proposal, which the group feel deprioritises the safety factor.

For road haulage groups particularly, the call from the EC for direct vision from the cab is another area which comes under attack, with the ACEA lauding the benefits of multi camera assistance for the driver plus sensors which inform of the presence of cyclists or pedestrians, something which the safety group say is inferior to a direct line of sight, quoting reaction time statistics to back up its case.

The argument also goes that the ACEA has a history of failing to implement safety measures which have historically been on a voluntary basis, whereas mandatory regulations, the seat belt laws, the 1997 introduction of the Euro NCAP consumer testing programme etc., have a proven track record of saving thousands of lives and that therefore the current EC proposals should not be watered down.