Labour MEPs: EU can help make North East roads safer

12 March 2015

Labour MEPs have voted in favour of updating EU rules on large vehicles to encourage greener and safer buses, trucks and lorries. The updated legislation, setting the maximum weights and dimensions for vehicles on our roads, reflects technological advances in vehicle design and alternative fuels.

Labour MEPs are now calling for further action at EU level to improve vehicle safety and environmental standards, as part of ambitious EU road safety targets.

Jude Kirton-Darling, Labour MEP for the North East said:

"These updated rules are a step in the right direction but following pressure from industry, they will not come into force until 2022. Clearly, the EU has a long way to go if we are to meet our target of halving road deaths by 2020, with most recent figures from 2012 indicating 28,000 fatalities on EU roads and more than 100,000 serious injuries.

"The research and development of safer lorry design is ongoing, with important advances to reduce blind spots, improved mirror systems and rounder fronts that deflect pedestrians and cyclists in the event of a collision.

"But if these new lorry designs are to be widely applied, they must be backed up with new EU legislation that strengthens the minimum safety standards allowed for EU vehicles and makes safer designs the norm."

Paul Brannen MEP added:

"Well-designed lorries are only part of the solution, we should also aim to create cities that genuinely do all they should to ensure safety for pedestrians and cyclists."

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