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EU minimum standards will improve road safety on UK roads

March 12, 2014 6:34 PM
Originally published by East Midlands Liberal Democrats

MEPs in the European Parliament voted on Tuesday to set minimum EU standards for the roadworthiness of vehicles through MOT safety tests and roadside inspections, following over a year and a half of negotiations. It is hoped that these new measures will contribute to reducing the number of road deaths by 50% over the period of 2010 - 2020.

Bill Newton Dunn in EU ParliamentCurrently the UK has one of the best road safety records across the whole of the EU, with recent figures showing that road deaths dropped by 10% from 1,870 in 2012 to 1,680 in 2013. These proposed measures will raise the safety standards of vehicles from other EU countries using Britain's roads.

Within the package there are also plans to make it easier for EU countries to swap information on vehicles, including their legal status, through the setting up of an online platform.

Bill Newton Dunn Liberal Democrat MEP for the East Midlands commented:

"The UK has been leading the way when it comes to making our roads safer and today's vote will ensure that these life-saving measures are extended across the EU.

"Every year thousands of vehicles from the EU use our roads across the UK and I think it's vital that they are properly maintained and tested. That is exactly what this new package will deliver.

"I'm also very pleased that all trailers below 3.5 tonnes have been stricken out of the proposals as well as caravans - this was a priority for the Liberals in the European Parliament and I'm glad that we have succeeded in achieving this. We have been able to prevent the potential unnecessary burden that this road worthiness test could have had on the owners of caravans and trailers."

The package contains a two-pronged strategy for safer vehicles: the harmonisation and strengthening of EU legislation on roadworthiness tests and on technical roadside inspections and the setting-up of a European electronic platform to enable the exchange of vehicle data (type approval, registration, results of inspections, etc).

The Department for Transport found in 2010 that 29.1% of non-UK registered lorry trailers stopped at the roadside were non-compliant with safety rules, compared to 13.3% of UK registered lorry trailers.

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