MEPs have passed a law that will change the face of trucks in Europe – from brick-shaped cabs to rounder ones.
Transport & Environment, which campaigned for the reform, said the new truck designs will save lives, carbon emissions and fuel.
The vote in the European Parliament follows an agreement between governments and MEPs on a ‘direct vision’ safety standard that will also enhance truck safety.
Truck manufacturers will be able to lengthen the design of cabs by 80-90cm, but only if they use the space to provide better vision from the driver’s seat, improve aerodynamics, add new safety features and boost driver comfort.
As a result, new truck cab designs in Europe are expected to include larger windscreens to see cyclists and pedestrians and have more streamlined bodies to reduce fuel use and pollution. The curved cabs should also better deflect pedestrians and cyclists in collisions – so that they do not go under the truck wheels.
The reforms are also expected to reduce trucks' carbon emissions and fuel bills up to 5% in long-haul trucks (or up to 10% when combined with the newest engines and tyres).
“This reform is a win-win for industry and the public,” James Nix, Freight Director at T&E, said. The truck of the future will be sleeker, reducing fuel bills and emissions. It will also be safer through better driver vision of cyclists and pedestrians in particular. And truck drivers themselves will have more in-cab comforts.”
The newly-designed trucks will be allowed on Europe's roads from 1 September 2020.