The European Union (EU) Parliament has approved rules to ensure all new vehicles sold on the EU market are fitted with advanced equipment designed to improve road safety and reduce road accidents.

The EU Parliament has also recommended that existing legislation should be adapted in line with emerging technological developments and social trends.

Focus should be given to the ageing population, new causes of distraction for drivers such as electronic devices, and the growing number of cyclists and pedestrians on roads.

The rules make it mandatory for new cars to have various safety features, including intelligent speed assistance that will alert drivers if the speed limit is surpassed.

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The recommended driver drowsiness and attention warning feature will alert the driver if the system detects insignificant alertness.

Car manufacturers will be required to equip vehicles with a distraction warning system that will alert the driver if there is a low level of visual attention to traffic.

“With an average of 49 road fatalities per million inhabitants compared to 174 per million globally, EU roads are said to be the safest in the world.”

Cars will also feature emergency stop signalling using flashing lights to inform road users behind the vehicle that the driver is about to brake suddenly.

Other mandatory features include a reversing detection system, a tyre pressure monitoring system, an alcohol interlock installation facilitation, as well as an accident data recorder.

Furthermore, it would also be mandatory for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to have emergency braking systems and lane-departure warning systems, which are both already compulsory for lorries.

New rules will be discussed with the European Council before they can become effective.

With an average of 49 road fatalities per million inhabitants compared to 174 per million globally, EU roads are said to be the safest in the world.

Road accidents have more than halved in the EU in the last two decades. However, the latest data indicates that the decline in the fatality rate is stagnating, calling for further efforts to be taken to improve road safety and protect citizens.