MEPs have called for standards of ‘direct vision’ – attuned to different truck types – to be proposed by the European Commission when it overhauls vehicle safety rules early next year. Direct vision standards will set out the area surrounding a truck cab the driver must be able to see without using mirrors or cameras, thus improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
European Parliament has voted to differentiate the direct vision standard by vehicle class, meaning manufacturers will not be required to have all its fleet conform to one standard via a one-size-fits-all design. Differentiation will mean vehicle manufacturers adapt cabs used in urban areas, such as delivery and recycling lorries, more radically than cabs used in long-haul trucks. Where design changes are harder or require more development time, sensor-based active safety systems will have to play a bigger role.
MEPs also demanded safer front-end design standards for heavy-goods vehicles to enable better vision of pedestrians and cyclists. Automatic emergency braking systems, which detect other road users, should also be mandatory in new cars, buses and trucks, they said. Intelligent speed assistance systems, which help drivers stay within the speed limit, should also become compulsory for new cars and trucks.
The report, which was initially drafted by MEP Dieter-Lebrecht Koch, was endorsed today by the full parliament with near-unanimous support (with 593 in favour, 39 against, and 53 abstentions).