Home
What safety technologies will be lost to the UK when we go it alone?

A wide ranging collection of transport organisations have jointly called on the government to improve new vehicle safety standards in spite of Brexit.

There are European Commission plans to enhance mandatory safety technologies - but their future is uncertain following Brexit.

In a joint letter and briefing to Roads Minister Jesse Norman MP, Brake, the Association of Car Fleet Operators, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation, European Transport Safety Council, Living Streets, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety and RoadPeace say improved minimum vehicle safety standards are needed to reduce deaths and serious injuries on UK roads.

Last year the European Commission published a list of 19 safety technologies which it is considering to make mandatory. In its letter, the group urges the Minister to support these measures and champion continued improvements under UK legislation following Brexit.

The technologies under consideration for new cars include Automated Emergency Braking, Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), an overridable system for helping drivers stick to speed limits, as well as updates to crash testing requirements to protect occupants and people outside vehicles. The EC is also considering measures specifically for lorries, to protect people and foot and bicycles, including improvements to lorry drivers’ direct vision (what they can see out their windows).

Vehicle standards were last updated in 2009 and significant advances in vehicle technology, which have taken place since then, "make it prudent to raise the bar and implement further cost effective life-saving safety measures as standard," the group says.

The coalition concludes that improved vehicle safety standards are "crucial to ensure the effective delivery of the 'safe system' approach adopted by Britain, driving towards the ultimate target of zero road deaths and serious injuries.”

Last year we reported how uncertain times are ahead for the cycling trade, and its customers, following Brexit, according to industry experts.

From changes to the cost of exchanging products and services, which could be passed on to customers, to the effect of Brexit on safety regulations and workers’ rights, and even infrastructure, it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen, but some informed guesses can be made.

Following last June’s Brexit vote Halfords, which possesses an estimated 20-25% of the UK cycling market, lost almost a quarter of its share price in a few days.

According to the industry news site, brands who were previously considering investing in the UK seem to be getting cold feet, saying they’d be looking into costs and shipping before making a decision. It says suppliers are estimating a 10 to 15 per cent rise in goods prices, thanks to exchange rate changes. This could well be passed on to the consumer, as well as necessitating efficiencies within the bike industry.

Meanwhile, the UK won't be at the negotiating table when changes to regulations and standards are discussed. One example of where this could be problematic is if, say, the UK wanted higher speed limits on e-bikes, and the EU didn't.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

15 comments

Avatar
balmybaldwin [199 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

What a surprise the RHA haven't offered their support

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1326 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

How about NO technologies being lost after Brexit. It's not exactly going to be one day law and order, the next anarchy on the streets (seems enough of that EU or not) and everyone sticking in a V8 and going Mad Max. We'll still be buying loads of EU cars that probably won't change their safety specifications for us. 

It's possible that we could end up safer than the rest of Europe (we already are looking at some of the driving statistics). 

Avatar
rowes [89 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

As scary as it is, our roads, across all transports, are actually ahead in safety (by far) of most of the EU.  

New cars made here will be sold in the EU and vice versa, so will have the high standards.  Seems a bit of a non-issue.

Avatar
Ramuz [299 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Why do I feel that cycling will become a lot more popular after Brexit?

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [608 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Given the latest EU commission on road safety and World Health Organisation reports were criticising both the Netherlands and Denmark for their 'very high' cycle death rates and this was supposedly solely down to lack of helmet use (victim blaming) and failed to also acknowledge that this was incorrect/deliberately misleading (using stats to suit agenda) due to using absolute numbers and not per billion km it's pretty clear the stance the EU have for people on bikes.

Basically in the gutter and wearing helmets to offset the dangers that motorised vehicles present despite all the evidence that proves that is bullshit and helmets do squat.

Can't wait for us to leave the EU and continue with some sort of sensibility instead of promoting cycling as dangerous and continuing on the theme of victim blaming/pushing the onus onto the vulnerable.

Having come back from yet another trip to France were I looked after friends doing the raid alpine I can catergorically say that both the French and Italians are shite compared to UK drivers on average. For all the thought that it's bad here, not only is it my feeling it's worse on the continent but the stats prove it also. Even Germany has a worse road KSI rate than the UK.

The EU can suck it.

 

Avatar
ktache [608 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA), Yeah right, can't see that being turned on very much./

Avatar
WillRod [226 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

I can actually see the UK government banning vehicles like Quadricycles on the grounds of safety (they are pretty unsafe according to NCAP tests). They might also change other rules regarding vehicles that were set by the EU including emissions.

What I hope is that they look into e-bike regulations, road design including cycle infrastructure etc.

What I doubt will happen is presumed liability, which is one of the few things that could improve things for cyclists.

 

Avatar
Mungecrundle [859 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

It would seem to me that any UK based manufacturer wishing to sell to continental Europe will have to comply with EU regs anyway, and given that most manufacturers develop to a common platform we will end up with cars that meet the larger EU market specifications or as ever pay considerably more for UK specific models.

Avatar
pablo [189 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes

Total crap I engineer cars for a living and spend most of my day figuring out what legislation means and applying it to what I'm working on. The two biggest drivers for anything that goes in a car are US and European regs. NCAP is actually not anything to do with legals but you'd be stupid as a manufacturer ignoring it in the mass market sector. Little Johnny needs to get to school in the safest box possible.
All cars will have to be designed with all these new systems it will be down to the local market to say if they are fitted as standard or legislated by the local government.
I think brexit is nuts but to say your cars will be less safe is just disingenuous.

Avatar
handlebarcam [1034 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

National differences in road death figures depend mostly on cultural and governmental factors. The latter include road design, speed limits, emergency medicine provision, driving training standards, alcohol restriction, and provision of cycling infrastructure. None of which the EU has any significant influence over because, despite what the hate rags would have you believe, it is not an empire, and not a government. Some meaningless EU research institutes may have said some silly things about cycle helmets, but a continent-wide helmet law is about as likely as Turkey joining the EU, and other idiotic bugaboos. But it does have a role in harmonising safety standards of products sold across borders, such as cars. That is work which will either have to be pointlessly replicated in the UK, or neglected amongst all the other stuff the civil service and Parliament will have to deal with for the next decade of chaos. Where things may go backwards is in the cultural aspect of road safety. People who think they're getting "their" country back from elites may well also decide they should get "their" roads back from cyclists as well. And politics may still swing further to the right, despite May's colossal cock-up of an election. Imagine if nanny-loving but "nanny-state"-hating Jacob Rees-Mogg were installed as PM (although when he talks about prioritising cabs over cyclists, I suspect he may be referring to the hansom variety.)

Avatar
davel [1597 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
handlebarcam wrote:

Where things may go backwards is in the cultural aspect of road safety. People who think they're getting "their" country back from elites may well also decide they should get "their" roads back from cyclists as well. 

This is where your argument goes backwards: seriously, I was with you until this bit. If you're intimating that Brexiters are more likely to run cyclists off the road, at least have the balls to say that.

handlebarcam wrote:

And politics may still swing further to the right, despite May's colossal cock-up of an election. 

Trajectory continued. "Excuse me while I ignore the recent confounding evidence, as it doesn't suit my argument... Isn't that Jacob Rees-Mogg weird..."

Avatar
700c [1139 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

@Handlebarcam, and others..

Haven't we just said we'll adopt EU legislation as a default position and then selectively introduce changes where there is a will to do so? Obviously I'm massively simpliying the issue and I'm no lawyer.

As discussed, I don't see any reason to believe road safety would go down when we leave, especailly as we are in the same market for the same vehicles  anyway, and have better safety stats than most, etc etc.

Having said that, one thing we could do better that then EU is to properly enforce emissions legislation, or even get tougher on it - the German carmakers who influence the EU on this policy have massively cheated/ failed in meeting their obligations, as everyone well knows.

As an aside, the prospect of Turkey joining the EU shouldn't be scary to the EU, but it is. Don't pretend it's a UK 'little Englander' position ( UK governments have been in favour in the past haven't they?),  it's the EU not wanting to accept other cultures and races. I don't want to use the *R* word but that's basically what it is.

 

 

  

Avatar
davel [1597 posts] 4 weeks ago
2 likes
700c wrote:

Having said that, one thing we could do better that then EU is to properly enforce emissions legislation, or even get tougher on it - the German carmakers who influence the EU on this policy have massively cheated/ failed in meeting their obligations, as everyone well knows.

As soon as news broke about the VW scandal in the US, compensation was talked about. It's currently running at a few thousand $ per customer, into the billions (20bn+?) in total, IIRC. Black and white, Case closed. Pay up. That's the rampant free-market, oil-guzzling, hate-the-environment, love-big-biz USA.

Yay. Can't wait to see what happens when the pro-little-man, pro-environment, anti-big-biz EU bureaucracymachine has in store for the VW evildoers. It was made for this, and it's SHOWTIME....

Hang on. VW has said it didn't even break the EU's woolly regs... Oh. https://www.ft.com/content/0b9bf1d2-e486-11e6-9645-c9357a75844a

 

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1727 posts] 4 weeks ago
3 likes
700c wrote:

@Handlebarcam, and others..

Haven't we just said we'll adopt EU legislation as a default position and then selectively introduce changes where there is a will to do so? Obviously I'm massively simpliying the issue and I'm no lawyer.

As discussed, I don't see any reason to believe road safety would go down when we leave, especailly as we are in the same market for the same vehicles  anyway, and have better safety stats than most, etc etc.

Having said that, one thing we could do better that then EU is to properly enforce emissions legislation, or even get tougher on it - the German carmakers who influence the EU on this policy have massively cheated/ failed in meeting their obligations, as everyone well knows.

As an aside, the prospect of Turkey joining the EU shouldn't be scary to the EU, but it is. Don't pretend it's a UK 'little Englander' position ( UK governments have been in favour in the past haven't they?),  it's the EU not wanting to accept other cultures and races. I don't want to use the *R* word but that's basically what it is.

 

 

  

Seems there are multiple reasons for the EU objecting to Turkey joining. Different people have different reasons. Racism is just one. There's also the raw economics of Turkey having far lower average incomes than the EU average, plus a very large population - not difficult to see how that would play out.

Historically it was the UK that was by far the most favourable to it (I suspect in part just following orders from the US, as with the UK's earlier pushing for eastern Europe to join, part of the UK's job in the EU was to push the US's strategic interests).

Personally I oppose it because Turkey barely qualifies as a democracy, and because of its treatment of the Kurds. It's a wanna-be imperial state. People claim that Britain 'never got over the loss of Empire' - well the same applies to Turkey, only more so.

Avatar
BehindTheBikesheds [608 posts] 4 weeks ago
2 likes

Never trust the German's and I own a 16 year old and surprisingly (or not) just as clean diesel in the real world as the latest euro vi vehicle (going by latest testing)
Dirty diesel, and by that I mean really disgustingly dirty are commonplace on French roads, how they remotely get past the regs is anyone's guess.
EU laws that allow tax evasion/avoidance to be rife, EU laws that have swindled away the rights to grow and protect our own economy that has slid to massive deficits and put farmers, fisherman and others to the sword. My own city of birth had its guts ripped out because of the 'common market' and it's rules. The rules that have being loaded and unfairly applied to everyday UK life ever since.
As for Turkey, well they've been an associate member since the 60s, but now it would be a massive mistake to allow them to join.
However the world powers that be (UN) already have a plan to displace people from the middle east to the West as part of it's forced migration plan (this is readily available online) hence the bombings in that region and is all part of the fear/control/power/money merrygoround.
Gaining some semblance of self governance is a good thing in these times and I know that in Italy, France and a few other countries the people hate the EU and all that it stands for currently and seemingly further loss of identity.
Sure, some unification and similarity, shared goals are good but the EEC lost its way decades ago and massively so.