The new General Safety Regulation – What you need to know

  • 08/07/24
  • 3 min

New automotive safety regulations have arrived this month in the European Union –a change which also impacts the UK – with the introduction of new, mandatory and active safety features designed to reduce fatal and serious accidents. This transition could have profound implications on businesses across the continent.

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But what exactly does the arrival of the General Safety Regulation (GSR) – which was first outlined in 2019 – mean for your business? 

What systems will vehicles require?

Among the new requirements for commercial vehicles designed and/or registered from July 2024 are:

  • The inclusion of a system for automatically turning on hazard lights in the event of intense emergency braking.
  • Installation of reversing cameras or sensors, as well as sensors or radars to warn of objects and people in blind spots.
  • Incorporation of radars that alert drivers to the presence of people and objects in front of a vehicle before moving off.
  • Installation of a speeding warning system.
  • A factory-fitted breathalyser that prevents the vehicle from starting until a test is passed.
  • Driving time and fatigue monitoring system.
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system for trucks, trailers and semi-trailers.

Further additions will join this list in the coming years, including driver behaviour monitoring systems in 2026, while 2029 truck cabins will require an extensive redesign versus today’s norms, with the regulations necessitating manufacturers to further prioritise visibility and reduce blind spots.

Also from 2029, vehicles must feature an aircraft-style black box, which will record information regarding the vehicle’s movements in the event of an accident.

How could this impact your fleet?

Though these alterations represent a significant advance in terms of road safety for vehicles over 3.5-tonnes, helping to prevent avoidable injuries and save countless lives, their introduction will come with additional costs for fleets and businesses.

Commercial vehicle manufacturers will have to adapt to the new requirements, designing safer and more reliable models that ensure compliance with the regulations, a process which will likely see vehicle prices rise.

An important first step for all commercial fleet operators is to take a thorough assessment of their current vehicles, to fully understand whether their existing assets already meet the requirements, whether they need to be retrofitted to meet the grade, or require replacing altogether.

This is a process the Fraikin team are on hand to assist with, utilising our fleet auditing services we can offer an accessible, simple and effective route to help you gauge where you stand today, and more importantly, pinpoint areas where improvements may be required.

Should these efforts highlight the need to retrofit your existing vehicles or introduce new assets, Fraikin is also here to help. 

Adopting a bespoke approach to your business, we will deliver a detailed analysis of your vehicles and then proactively place orders and liaise with manufacturers and suppliers to get new build programmes underway as soon as possible, ensuring your fleet can be brought up to speed quickly and efficiently.

In all, the upcoming GSR legislation marks a pivotal shift for our industry, but our expert teams are ready and able to help you make the transition.

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