After a provisional agreement reached in March 2019 by the EU Parliament’s ICMO (Internal Market and Consumer Protection), mandatory safety systems will become standard in all new cars rolling off the production lines. While so far the legislation to be enacted in 2022 only applies to cars, it’s likely that before too long we’ll be seeing the same rules applying to the vans we use for courier jobs as well as HGVs. |
If and when this does happen, there will of course be ramifications for the delivery industry, but first and foremost we should all be celebrating the potential for huge improvements in road safety post-2022.
Bring on the Technology
The advanced safety technology to be integrated into new cars comes under a policy known as the Third Mobility Package, and includes:
• Autonomous emergency braking systems (AEB) with cyclist and pedestrian detection • Intelligent speed assistance (ISA) • Accident data recorders • Alcohol interlock system • Inattention and drowsiness detection • Increased levels of direct vision requirements
Focus on Road Safety
While the legislation still needs formal approval, early estimates of the effects are compelling to say the least. The head of TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) claims that with the advanced safety measures fitted into every new car coming out of the EU by 2022, up to 25,000 lives could be saved in the next 15 years.
The TRL says that with these features in place, drivers will be much safer on the roads and the risk of injury to vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists will also be significantly reduced.
Education is Key
Those of us who do courier jobs for a living are out on the roads more than the average motorist, so it’s not hard for us to see how speed limiters and autonomous emergency braking systems could make a vast difference to driver behaviour. However, leading experts on car safety say that it’s vital that regular road users are educated in preventative measures too, rather than simply relying on the technology of their vehicle. In fact, they say there’s a risk this legislation could result in some complacency.
Because speed is a factor in a great number of accidents, intelligent speed limiters will be a benefit, but sometimes GPS mapping changes or temporary road works can confuse the system. It’s imperative that drivers do not become lulled into a false sense of security and put too much faith in their car’s technology – this is where education about its capabilities becomes so important. Understanding the Limitations of Technology
The RAC (Royal Automobile Club) has voiced some misgivings about the use of ISAs, saying because the systems have the facility to be overridden there is still the potential for drivers to abuse or get around them. Similarly, because the AEBs do not automatically kick in when going from a high-speed to a slower zone, it’s still up to the driver to brake accordingly.
The Changing Face of Courier Jobs
This recent legislation is just another example of how the face of the delivery industry is constantly changing. So many factors affect the way in which we carry out courier jobs, but the prospect of this kind of advanced technology being fitted to vans and other delivery vehicles in the not-to-distant future should be looked at with great positivity.
Author Plate Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day courier jobs in the express freight exchange industry. Numerous transport exchange businesses are networked together on their website, trading jobs and capacity through what is now the fastest growing Freight Exchange in the UK.
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