Europe backs ambitious pedestrian protection measures

Europe backs ‘ambitious’ pedestrian protection measures The European Commission has today announced that it supports the commitment made by the motor industry to improve pedestrian protection. Describing the industry’s voluntary targets as ambitious but realistic, Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner for Enterprise and the Information Society, said that the commitment was an important step towards reducing deaths and injuries among pedestrians and other road users. Industry proposals set targets for changes to vehicle design which will limit the effect of a pedestrian impact and prevent accidents occurring in the first place. However, unlike the long drawn out legislative route, industry measures promise to bring about benefits sooner rather than later. By 2005, 80 per cent of the aims of a directive will have been achieved, a full three years ahead of schedule. And by the time legislation would finally be in place, 100 per cent of the benefits will have been achieved. Commenting on the Commission’s announcement, SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said, ‘The motor industry has already made significant cuts in CO2 emissions from new cars through constructive dialogue with Europe. Now we are ready to deliver on voluntary targets set for pedestrian protection. I am delighted that the Commission has backed a voluntary agreement, which promises real benefits through tough but achievable targets.’ Member States and the European Parliament will now be consulted by the Commission on the proposals. The industry urges MEPs to support the Commission’s view and opt for a negotiated agreement before a final decision is made towards the end of the year. Note to editors: The European automotive industry is already committed to a voluntary agreement to reduce CO2 emissions by 25 per cent by 2008 from 1995 levels. ACEA, the European automobile manufacturers association, recently reported that CO2 output from new cars is falling by an average 2.5 per cent per year. The industry is on target to reach the 140 g/km threshold set for average CO2 emissions from new cars by 2008. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) read more