Safety tech measures are welcome ... but will take time
FUEL and emissions have dominated the motoring debate for years, but of even greater importance is the level of safety in our cars.
Now the European Parliament is lending its considerable weight to demands for higher safety standards on all new cars, vans and lorries.
Among the life-saving technologies it wants as standard are automated emergency braking and intelligent speed assistance.
Latest figures show 26,000 people died on EU roads last year - little changed over the past three years.
The parliament's transport committee's report has now been given full backing, while the European Commission will outline its final legal proposals for some revised vehicle safety standards by March.
According to official documentation, mandatory safety standards for new cars sold in Europe have not been updated since 2009.
However, all car-makers have pushed on and now fit vast arrays of technology. The critical distinction is that not all key elements are fitted as standard.
The European Transport Safety Council says the new measures are the EU's "best hope" for restarting progress on road safety, but warn they will take several years to implement.