A long running campaign to ban 'bull bars' from new 4x4 vehicles has finally secured success after the European Parliament today (Thursday) backed the move as part of a package of pedestrian safety measures.
The move has been given a warm welcome by Southport Euro-MP Chris Davies, who first raised the issue with ministers as an MP in the House of Commons more than six years ago.
The vote gives the green light to a voluntary agreement negotiated by the European Commission which seeks to meet the concerns both of manufacturers and safety campaigners.
Bull bars were initially designed to protect cars from collisions with wild animals in countries other than Britain. However, they are now largely fitted for decorative purposes and it is claimed that they pose a danger to pedestrians by increasing the risk of serious injury in a collision.
The voluntary agreement reached with car manufacturers also includes a pledge to introduce anti-lock braking (ABS) on all new cars by 1 July 2004. Draft legislation on car design and pedestrian safety measures is to be prepared after further consultation.
Chris Davies described the result as a real success.
He commented: "It is outrageous that people's lives should for years have been put at greater risk for the sake of nothing more than a fashion accessory on cars.
"This ban shows the European Union working at its best, dealing with the concerns of an industry which works on a European basis, and at the same time improving safety for all."
Article submitted by A.Cutting on behalf of Chris Davies MEP