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MOTOR VEHICLES: FRAMEWORK DIRECTIVE ON PEDESTRIAN SAFETY IMMINENT.

Made in 2001 under the wing of the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), the voluntary commitment proposes passive and activity safety measures, such as a series of tests for new types of vehicles, the use of anti-lock brake systems (ABS) starting in 2003, the use of daytime running lights and doing away with rigid bull bars on new vehicles. The EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament have been consulted about the scope of the commitment and have both stressed the need to guarantee the legal validity of the measures proposed (hence the Framework Directive) and lay down uniform inspection procedures.

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has lashed out at the willingness of car makers to use tests that are less tough than those worked out by the European Enhanced Safety Vehicle Committee (EVVC, a Committee comprising scientists from the Member States' regulatory authorities and specialists from the sector). The voluntary commitment does propose to use these tests, but car makers will temporarily delay them pending the findings of a feasibility study. The ETSC recently said it was very concerned about the latest findings, as implemented by the European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP). As a result of the poor vehicle test results, Jacqueline Breen, head of the ETSC, concludes the car industry is not voluntarily taking any measures to ensure effective protection for pedestrians. She says that just one of the cars currently available (the Honda Civic) meets over 80% of EEVC test requirements, without using new technologies and at an extra production cost of about Euro 10 per car.

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Title Annotation:auto safety standards, including daytime running lights and anti-lock brakes, proposed
Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Dec 7, 2002
Words:263
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