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Brussels, 18th June 2008

Move to improved pedestrian safety by 2009

The European Commission welcomes today’s support of the European Parliament for its proposal to fit passenger cars with Brake Assist Systems (BAS) as early as 2009. As many as 8000 vulnerable road users, pedestrians and cyclists, are killed every year in the EU. The use of BAS can considerably reduce the stopping distance of a vehicle in an emergency situation and will safe lifes. It will provide more safety with less legislation. The proposal will now be discussed by the Council of Ministers.

Commission Vice-President Günter Verheugen, responsible for enterprise and industry, said: “The agreement in the European Parliament is a big step forward in insuring and increasing the safety of all road users, especially vulnerable groups like pedestrians and cyclists. Now the EU-Member Sates will have the final say and I hope for their support."

The approved proposal is part of a larger package of measures to improve car safety proposed by the Commission at the end of May. All new cars should be fitted with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems by 2012 and lorries and other heavy vehicles with Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) Systems as of 2013 (IP/08/786).

A Commission study shows that the requirements for pedestrian protection can be significantly improved by use of a combination of active and passive safety measures. Passive measures help to reduce injury levels on impact by provision of softer surfaces. Active measures alleviate the conditions under which impact may take place, e.g., by reduction of impact speed. Such a combination of measures will afford an 80 % higher level of protection than the previously existing provisions, in particular, as a result of the use of active safety systems:

New vehicles are required to pass a number of performance tests in two phases: phase I (which is based on recommendations from the Joint Research Centre) started in October 2005 as required by Directive 2003/102/EC and a revised phase II (which was based on European Enhanced Vehicle-safety Committee recommendations) which is the main subject of the present proposal. Within six years from the start of phase II, all new vehicle types will have to comply with amended test requirements and, even as early as nine months after entry into force of the Regulation, be fitted with BAS.

At the same time the adopted regulation will repeal two directives and related national legislation in all Member States.


Directive 2003/102/EC introduced the first legislation designed to provide a level of protection for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users when in collision with a passenger car. This legislation introduced test requirements for vehicles in two phases, in 2005 and 2010 respectively, but recognised the need to re-examine the requirements of the second phase. In parallel to this Directive, the Commission also proposed measures for the control of frontal protection systems (bull bars) which was published as Directive 2005/66/EC.

The Commission now proposes to up-date the requirements of the pedestrian protection Directive (2003/102/EC) combining it with the requirements for frontal protection systems and, at the same time, introduce the requirement for Brake Assist Systems.
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