Select Committee on European Union Forty-Ninth Report


Letter from the Chairman to David Jamieson MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport

  Thank you for your letter dated 24 June which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 8 July.

  It is helpful to see how the draft Directive has been amended in the Council Working Groups. The latest amendment is certainly an advance over the original proposal. The phasing in period of 72 months for cars and light vans and 36 months for other vehicles suggests that the Directive should not impact severely on the motor industry.

  We welcome any reduction in the numbers of people killed or injured on the roads. We note that apart from the possibility of saving around 16 lives a year, this Directive, if implemented, might also lead to 80 fewer seriously injured people and a consequential saving to society of some £28,610,240 a year.

  It would be useful to know if the Commission is considering extending the scope of this Directive to buses?

9 July 2002

Letter from David Jamieson MP

  Thank you for your letter of 9 July concerning the above. I believe this proposal, as amended by the Council Working Group, offers the possibility of significant casuality reductions without creating unreasonable burdens for industry.

  With regard to your particular question on the scope of the Directive, I can confirm that the scope does include buses. All buses approved to the Directive would require at least two exterior mirrors, with optional provision for additional blind spot mirrors if these can be fitted at least two metres above the ground. The group did discuss the possibility of making these additional mirrors mandatory on buses but it was decided that there was insufficient safety justification. Driving positions in buses tend to be lower than in heavy goods vehicles, and a balance had to be struck between maximising driver visibility and ensuring that pedestrians, particularly at bus stops, are not subject to extra risk due to additional mirrors projecting from the vehicle.

  In addition, the Directive would include provision for camera/monitor systems to be used to survey the blind spot to the rear of buses or goods vehicles. This is a relatively new technical development and we believe that it would be beneficial to allow such systems to be used initially on an optional basis so that there effectiveness can be judged in day-to-day use.

25 July 2002

Letter from the Chairman to David Jamieson MP

  Thank you for your letter dated 25 July 2002 which Sub-Committee B considered at its meeting on 14 October 2002.

  It was good of you to clarify the position of buses under this Directive. As you describe it, the position seems to be acceptable.

21 October 2002

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