Daytime Running Lights

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Eamonn Townsend

Daytime Running Lights

Post by Eamonn Townsend »

EU investigates effects on vulnerable road users' safety

The European Union has decided to undertake a research into the effects of Daytime Running Lights (DRL) on the safety of vulnerable road users. FEMA welcomes this outcome, and is very satisfied with the success of its campaign for the exclusion of the DRL measure from a Directive setting the legal framework of the Cars Manufacturers' commitment on pedestrian protection.

Common sense prevails in this matter where all stakeholders agree that DRL must not be considered as a subject for European harmonisation without their effects on the safety of vulnerable road users being thoroughly investigated. This will be the objective of a European Commission research due to start next year.

Since its inopportune inclusion in a voluntary commitment from the European Car Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), the DRL measure met strong opposition from the FEMA-led coalition. Together with other vulnerable road users(*), FEMA has been successful in having the European Union consider their concerns on the safety impact of DRL on vulnerable road users.

As a consequence, the DRL measure for cars will not be included in the proposal for EU legislation aiming at a better protection of vulnerable road users in case of a collision with a car. This also resulted in the decision of the United Nations' working group dealing with this matter to stop the discussions that were taking place world-wide on this subject.

The EU players unanimously agree on the necessity to conduct a research on the effects of DRL. Its objective will be to assess whether DRL contribute to the road safety of cars, and what are their effects on accidents involving vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The study will also determine if the fact that motorcycles use DRL results in the rider suffering of less severe injuries.

FEMA will closely follow the developments of this research and has asked the Commission to be involved in the project.

FEMA General Secretary Antonio Perlot declared: "Road safety measures should always take into account the safety of all users, without exposing any specific category to a higher risk. FEMA welcomes this research and is looking forward to make its contribution, namely through a paper recently presented at the IfZ International Motorcycle Safety Conference"

(*) The members of the FEMA-led coalition include the European Cyclsits' Federation (ECF), the European Accidents' Victims Federation (FEVR) and the International Pedestrians' Federation (FIP).