THE European Commission is looking into the fitting of aircraft-style “black boxes” in cars and lorries as part of a new drive to cut road accidents.
The move is one element of a new strategy to halve road deaths in Europe by 2020.
The target follows an EU survey reflecting growing public concern about drink driving, excessive speed, the use of mobile phones while driving and the flouting of seat-belt laws — all seen as key factors in road safety.
“One hundred people die every day on Europe’s roads,” said EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas. “We have made good progress since 2001 and we have succeeded in saving nearly 80,000 lives. But the number of fatalities and injuries on our roads is still unacceptable. We are looking at what kind of cars motorists drive, where they drive and how they drive, and we want to cut road deaths in half by 2020.”
The commissioner was unveiling a “road safety action programme” which will include proposals on tougher car and lorry safety standards, the development of “intelligent” vehicles and the building of safer roads.
The last decade has seen many advances in road safety, officials insist, including compulsory use of seatbelts and the virtually universal airbags, even in cheap cars.
The next 10 years will see proposals on compulsory electronic stability control, compulsory seat belt warnings in cars and higher technical safety standards for all vehicles. Studies will also be carried out into the feasibility of installing aircraft-style “black boxes”.
A commission statement said officials would examine “the added value of developing and installing event data recorders (black boxes) in particular on professional vehicles, to improve technical investigations and analysis of accidents”.
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