New EU rules on standard safety equipment on new cars will start to be applied from the end of 2011. A compromise agreement between the European Parliament and Commission and EU governments is designed to replace around fifty directives which exist today governing vehicle safety and efficiency.
Night vision capability will be added to tyre specifications, steering stabilisation and distance monitoring, for example. Some of the latest technological developments will be applied more to trucks than cars. But special safety equipment will no longer be confined to luxury models. In answer to fears that the new requirements would add to pressure on the industry – in economic difficulty – key voices in Brussels insist that selling cars with the most modern features possible will allow Europe’s producers to hold the road in competitive markets.