MEPs back new road and vehicle safety rules

New EU rules covering road infrastructure safety and minimum vehicle safety standards have moved a step closer, following approval by a key committee of MEPs in the European Parliament. 

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The European Parliament’s Transport committee voted to approve an update to rules governing road infrastructure safety management.  The existing requirements ensure governments carry out regular road safety audits, identify high-risk sites and prioritise safety when building new roads but the rules only apply to major European roads known collectively as the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). 

The European Commission proposed an update in May that would extend the rules to all motorways, all “primary roads” and all non-urban roads that receive EU funding.

The European Commission also proposed in May that performance standards for road signs and road markings across Europe should be developed.  A high standard and consistency of road signs and road markings across Europe could be an important issue for higher levels of automation, when cars increasingly take away control from the driver under certain circumstances.

MEPs also want to see minimum road safety requirements for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. The existing legislation, which mainly covers motorways, does not make special provision for these groups. 

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