The UK Minister of State for Transport has confirmed it is illegal to continue to manufacture, market non approved metal bull bars (no sale is necessary to be breaking the law) and sell metal bull bars that do not comply with the new EU legislation (Directive 2005/66/EC) for pedestrian protection. The maximum penalty to be imposed within the UK is 12 months in prison and a substantial GBP20,000 fine.
Metal bull bars, nudge bars and non compliant Frontal Protection Systems (FPSs) will be banned by the new European law but a new generation of energy absorbing products have shown that unlike their metal equivalents they significantly reduce the risk of pedestrian injury – making large 4 x 4s, SUVs and LCVs up to 50 times safer. This life saving product is known as the Endura FPS (www.endura-fps.com) and like the metal bull bar, Endura offers similar protection to the fronts of vehicles, reducing vehicle damage when involved in collisions.
Testing based on the 2005/66/EC legislation, carried out at MIRA (one of Europe’s leading vehicle design, development and certification centres), has shown that the risk of pedestrian head injury is dramatically reduced from greater than 98 per cent to less than 2 per cent when a large 4×4 is fitted with an Endura FPS. The risk of injury to the abdomen, upper leg and lower leg is also reduced with a substantial 79 per cent improvement to the pelvis and abdominal area. For test results video footage and more information please see, www.frontalprotectionsystems.eu.
According to the VCA report, Concept Mouldings
(www.conceptmouldings.co.uk) is the only UK manufacturer known to have developed a non-rigid FPS that has been demonstrated to comply with the requirements of the EU Legislation. Concept Mouldings have been working with pedestrian protection technology since the early 1990’s.
“The adverse publicity regarding Metal bull bars stimulated our thought process to develop a product that did not exacerbate the problems of the vehicles themselves but to enhance the safety of the vehicle for vulnerable road users with the introduction of energy absorbing surfaces.” said Ian Finney, Managing Director, Concept Mouldings.
According to the British Medical Journal, (Crandall, JR, Bhalla, K, and Madeley, NJ. 11th May, 2002) 99 per cent of all serious and fatal injuries Are caused from injury to the head and abdomen (including pelvis) regions. The Endura range of products have been specifically manufactured and focused upon these regions to ensure maximum protection for the vulnerable road user. The Endura FPS absorbs massive amounts of energy on impact, protecting pedestrians and cyclist from hard parts of vehicles such as engine, bonnet leading edge and radiator.
The purpose of European legislation it to ban rigid structures on the fronts of vehicles such as bull bars and nudge bars and thus introducing objective, performance standards for FPSs with the purpose of reducing the potential for vulnerable road users to be killed or seriously injured in collisions with vehicles.
Figures from the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) highlight a growing concern for vulnerable road users throughout Europe. More than 900 UK and 12,000 European pedestrians and cyclists are killed every year and more than 9,000 and 290,000 respectively are seriously injured.
The risk to pedestrians and children in particular is increasing as changing online shopping habits have lead to more fleet vehicles in residential areas, resulting in many children being seriously injured or killed by large vehicles in built-up areas. By fitting an Endura FPS, Fleet owners will now be able to meet corporate social responsibility goals by doing everything they can to make their vehicles safer for vulnerable road users and start saving lives, while at the same time gaining a spin off benefit of reducing vehicle damage and related costs, reducing insurance claims and time off the road.
The widespread use of Endura Frontal Protection Systems and immediate action from the UK Government to enforce compliance will contribute to saving countless lives and reduce the number of serious injuries across Europe.