European Union (EU) ministers have agreed a new package of mandatory minimum vehicle safety standards.

Under the proposed regulation, vans and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) will no longer be exempt from various safety features which, until now, have only been required for ordinary passenger cars. These features include tyre pressure monitoring, intelligent speed assistance, alcohol interlock, driver drowsiness monitoring and emergency stop signals.

More advanced safety measures will be required for passenger cars and light commercial cars. These include event data recorders, which store data such as the car’s speed or the state of activation of the car’s safety systems before, during and after a collision, and enlarged head impact protection zones capable of mitigating injuries in collisions with vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. Specific safety rules will apply to trucks, buses, hydrogen-powered vehicles and automated vehicles.

“We must never let up in our efforts to make our roads safer for everyone,” said Norbert Hofer, Austrian Federal Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Technology. “These new rules, which reflect the latest technical developments, will protect and help save lives.”

EU statistics show that progress in reducing road fatalities in the EU has stalled in recent years. The proposed regulation aims to limit the number of fatalities and severe injuries due to road collision. It is part of the third “Europe on the Move” mobility package.

Once the European Parliament has adopted its own position at first reading, the European Council will start negotiations with the Parliament with the aim of reaching rapid agreement.