To save lives, Brake Assist Systems (BAS) are being proposed Europe-wide from 2009. Brussels uses the term ‘systems’ to cover the commonly-known anti-locking breaks and other possibilities. The European Commission is confident that as more cars are fitted with BAS more pedestrians and cyclists will be spared. Some 8,000 vulnerable road users are killed every year in the EU.
With them in mind, the use of BAS can reduce the stopping distance of a vehicle in an emergency. The proposal is part of a target to halve the number of fatal road accidents by 2010. Using softer surfaces on vehicles helps produce less injury. Reducing impact speed is a more active measure. A combination of safety rules will require new vehicles to pass performance tests.
The Commission estimates that imposing Brake Assistance on all European vehicles could help save more than a thousand pedestrians’ lives each year, and produce some 46,000 fewer serious injuries.