Verkehr auf der A 44n zwischen den Tagebauen Garzweiler I und Garzweiler II. JC<chen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland

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Verkehr auf der A 44n zwischen den Tagebauen Garzweiler I und Garzweiler II. JC<chen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Deutschland

Making European Roads Safer for Everyone

Published on 1 February 2023 - 2 reading minute(s)

The good news is that roads are safer today than ever before, but we’ve still got a ways to go to achieve “Vision Zero”, the European Union’s goal of zero road fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.

To help truck drivers drive safer, the EU rolled out 11 new General Safety Regulations (GSRs) for heavy-duty trucks. Vehicle manufacturers will soon be required to include these active safety features into new vehicles to protect vulnerable road users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists, and impact driver behaviour.

Here’s what you need to know to keep your fleet safe and compliant.

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Protecting Vulnerable Road Users

The sheer size of a heavy duty truck makes just about anyone else on the road a vulnerable user in comparison. The new General Safety Regulations were designed to protect anyone sharing the road with a truck driver, especially the most vulnerable road users in urban areas. These regulations are part of a broader EU effort to improve road safety, which includes improved risk-mapping and revised road infrastructure rules.

1. Emergency stop signal:
When a truck driver brakes hard, a flashing brake light clearly signals to others on the road that the truck is slowing quickly or stopping suddenly.

2. Reversing information:
With cameras or sensors installed at the rear of the truck, drivers are fully aware of their surroundings.

  1. 3. Blind spot information system:
    Warns truck drivers if a road user is riding alongside their vehicle.
  1. 4. Moving off information system:
  2. Warns truck driver a road user is in front of their vehicle.

Safer Drivers, Safer Roads

When a truck driver is safe, it ultimately keeps everyone else on the road safe. This next group of active safety systems aims to do exactly that. In fact, once all of the GSRs are in place, the EU estimates the regulations will help to avoid more than 140,000 serious road injuries and save at least 25,000 lives by 2038. *

5. Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS): This system automatically monitors tyre pressure and reports pressure loss in real time ౼ but it shouldn’t replace daily visual tyre checks!

6. Intelligent speed assistance: This system monitors speed and warns drivers if they’re over the speed limit.

7. Alcohol interlock installation facilitation: This regulation requires that all new vehicles feature a standardized interface for breathalyzers, installation is not mandatory.

8. Drowsiness and attention detection: This new system assesses truck behavior and reminds drivers to pull over for a break when necessary.

 

NB: The first eight active safety systems will be mandatory in every new truck that leaves the factory by July 2024 ౼ that means new models and new registrations.

Future Regulations in the Pipe

The last three regulations will roll out between 2026 and 2029:

9. Distraction recognition and prevention: Sensors recognise signs of drowsiness and reduced attention. Rollout in 2026.

10. Improved direct vision from driver’s position: These new safety features will improve “direct vision” and minimize blind spots. Rollout in 2029.

11. Event (accident) data recorder: This is the “black box” for trucks. Rollout in 2029.

The Bottom Line

EU states will be the first to roll out these new regulations, with other countries in the region, including Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and Israel, keeping pace as well. These systems will surely improve driver and road safety, but they are not intended to replace common sense and safe driving practices.

A well-trained driver remains the most important factor in the equation.

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