Source: Intelligent Instructor
Brexit is having a direct negative effect on road safety.
This is the conclusion of prominent road safety figure David Ward, as reported by Road Safety GB.
Ward is criticising the Government’s prioritising of “Brexit divergence” over the lives of British road users. Essentially it is the failure to integrate new safety features on new vehicles.
Evolving vehicle safety
A new package of safety measures has been introduced across the EU – the General Safety Regulation (GSR).
The General Safety Regulation introduces a range of mandatory advanced driver assistance systems. It also establishes the legal framework for the approval of automated and fully driverless vehicles in the EU.
The measures include:
- All road vehicles: intelligent speed assistance, reversing detection with camera or sensors, attention warning in case of driver drowsiness or distraction, event data recorders as well as an emergency stop signal
- Cars and vans: Additional features such as lane keeping systems and automated braking
- Buses and trucks: technologies for better recognising possible blind spots, warnings to prevent collisions with pedestrians or cyclists and tyre pressure monitoring systems.
The Transport Research Lab describes the EU package as the biggest advance in vehicle safety since the seat belt. It own research estimates suggests the UK could prevent 1,762 deaths and 15,000 injuries over the next 15 years.
Policies over people
The UK actively supported these measures right up to the moment that it left the EU. Since Brexit, the government is being accused of “watering down” their introduction, according to David Ward in a strongly worded blog post.
The executive president of the ‘Towards Zero Foundation’ says for the first time in 25 years the UK “will no longer have world class vehicle safety standards” and is “falling behind global best practice in road safety”.
He blames the Government’s “dithering, delaying and diverging” on Brexit. This he describes as “a slow puncture deflating our vehicle safety standards”.
David writes: “Whether you voted for Brexit or not, did you expect our vehicle safety standards to decline? Surely not because we were promised during the Brexit referendum campaign that leaving the EU will not weaken UK standards of consumer protection.
“Divergence is happening now simply because the DfT is under more pressure to scrap EU regulations than to save the lives of British road users.
“And that is how Brexit ideology is becoming the new killer on Britain’s roads.”