The European Commission has defined itself the goal of continuously reducing the number of people killed in road traffic. The EU Commission therefore supports international and national initiatives that include measures to improve transport infrastructure and vehicle safety and to train road users.
In Europe, nearly a quarter of all fatally injured road users are pedestrians. In cities, it is almost a third. Extensive research on pedestrian protection was taken up by the EU Commission and formed the basis for a legal regulation on pedestrian protection in the context of the type approval of motor vehicles. In the so-called Phase I, a head impact on the bonnet, a collision of a leg impactor against the bumper and the impact of a hip impactor against the bumper were required by law from 2005 onwards. This resulted in modified front-end structures and new hood designs with shock absorbing properties. In addition, there are actively deployable bonnets and in some vehicles special pedestrian protection airbags.
These and other measures have contributed to reducing the number of fatal injuries to pedestrians in Europe by about 25 percent in recent years. Similarly positive trends were also noted in Japan, Australia and Canada, which had defined comparable legal requirements. In order to harmonize pedestrian protection legislation worldwide, a Global Technical Regulation (GTR 9) was created in 2009 under the UNECE umbrella. The GTR 9 is divided into a Phase I and a Phase II. Phase I is based on current European legislation and requires the use of the so-called EEVC leg impactor to assess the risk of injury to thighs, lower legs and knees. GTR-9 Phase II uses a new Flexible Pedestrian Legform Impactor (FlexPLI).
At the same time, a new UN Regulation 127 was created on the basis of GTR-9 phase I and phase II, in order to ensure the mutual recognition of type-approvals for pedestrian protection in countries that signed the 1958 agreement. The leg impactor FlexPLI will also be used at Euro NCAP and will replace the previous leg impactor in other consumer protection programs worldwide. At the same time, various countries have adapted their pedestrian protection legislation and since 2015 have allowed the FlexPLI to be used for new type-approvals. From the end of 2017 at the latest, the new leg impactor must be used mandatory.