EU parliament adopts law for safer, greener trucks
The European parliament on Tuesday adopted a law allowing for longer heavier trucks as long as manufacturers build more aerodynamic, less polluting and less dangerous vehicles.
The legislation will see lorries with more rounded cabs plying European Union roads from 2017, offering their drivers a better field of vision to spot bicycles and motorcycles in particular, lawmakers said.
The cabs will also have a deflective shape to reduce the impact of collisions.
"We have made sure that the lorries are safer, both for drivers and other users of the road," according to Jorg Leichtfried, a socialist member of parliament from Austria who guided the law through the chamber.
The trucks can be up to a tonne heavier than before as long as they have greener fueling systems.
Until now, manufacturers were dissuaded from developing hybrid or electric motors because they would make the truck heavier and require operators to carry lighter loads to meet EU norms.
"It will encourage greener transport," said Violeta Bulc, the European commissioner for transport.
"With the use of low‑carbon technologies it will make trucks more aerodynamic and therefore more fuel‑efficient," she said.
And she added: "It will promote innovation ..., and this will boost the competitiveness of the EU industry at a global level."
The socialists and the Greens welcomed a compromise that allowed for greater safety and a cleaner environment but did not open the way to mega trucks of more than 60 tonnes.
The last laws setting the specifications of lorries dates back to 1996.
The text must now be approved by the Council of the European Union, which group's the 28 EU member states.
Lawmakers said approval was a formality.
© 2015 AFP