Sunday 24 April 2022
Compulsory in-vehicle technology could save more than 1000 lives in a decade. Independent road safety campaigner, Meera Naran MBE is using the fourth anniversary of her son’s death, to highlight why the government should pass Dev’s Law in his memory, ensuring that all new vehicles are fitted with this AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) technology.
AEB is an in-vehicle safety technology that monitors the road ahead and automatically slows down the vehicle if the driver fails to respond to a collision threat ahead.
Almost three quarters (74%) of drivers would support the UK Government adopting AEB, according to an AA survey* of 15.677 drivers.
The 38-year-old mother from Leicester, who previously secured government backing for an 18-point action plan around smart motorways, is calling for Dev’s Law as she believes it could have saved the life of her eight-year-old son.
Dev Naran died in a traffic collision on a stretch of the M6 near Birmingham on 31st May 2018 when a lorry collided with the stationery car he was in.
Both Australia and the EU have already adopted similar legislation, but the UK is currently lagging behind despite motoring organisations and road safety experts illustrating that AEB could save countless lives.
Thatcham Research (the motor insurers’ automotive research centre) predicts that the adoption of AEB in all vehicles will save 1,100 lives and prevent a further 122,860 casualties on UK roads over a decade.**
Meera Naran MBE, independent safety campaigner says: “AEB will significantly reduce the number of crashes and fatalities, so it needs to be adopted as a matter of urgency. No one wakes up in the morning intending to harm someone else, and Dev’s Law is a way in which we can keep ourselves and others safe on our roads and prevent more families going through such painful losses.”
As part of her campaign, Meera is lobbying the government to adopt higher standards already put forward by the European Transport Safety Council for automated emergency braking systems in HGV’s. This would help reduce the risk of collisions in live lane breakdowns on any type of motorway including smart motorways, where currently the risk of a vehicle stopping in a running lane is increased by 216%. ***
For a decade we have pressed government to make AEB compulsory on all new vehicles...
There is also a problem with most vans not having AEB fitted as standard and a significant number not even offering it as an option. Generally, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are not well developed in the van sector according to EuroNCAP.**** This is a particular safety problem as vans are the faster growth sector of vehicles and tend to do higher mileage.
Edmund King OBE, AA president, adds: “For a decade***** we have pressed government to make AEB compulsory on all new vehicles as originally it was only fitted as standard on the most expensive models and was an option on some others.
“The adoption of Dev’s Law mandating the fitting of AEB on all new vehicles, including vans, would be a massive milestone in road safety akin to major safety advances such as seat belts, breathalysers or air bags. It will be compulsory across Europe from July so the UK shouldn’t be left behind. AEB is a proven technology and lifesaver, whilst other advances being avidly promoted, such as Automated Lane Keeping System, operating up to 37mph in motorway traffic, might save some shunts but is less likely to save lives. We would also encourage drivers in the used car and van market to opt for models with AEB as you never know when you might need it.”
Meera Naran is continuing her campaign for safer drivers on safer roads and is continuing to lobby for ongoing driver education once qualified. If adopted, Dev’s Law is expected to further reduce fatalities and help move towards a mutual vision of zero deaths on UK roads. For more information about Dev’s Law visit: www.devslaw.co.uk
*AA Yonder survey of 15,677 drivers 14-27 Feb 2022.
**Background on AEB Autonomous Emergency Braking - Thatcham
***17 Minutes To Spot A Live Lane Breakdown On Smart Motorways | AA (theaa.com)
**** Euro NCAP | System Fitment