Not content with mandating carmakers to curb emissions the EU has now focused its attention on ensuring all new cars be equipped with brake-assist systems. Officials proposed today that such systems be made standard by 2009 to help reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and are predicting that up to 1,100 lives could be saved each year because of it.

The system works by automatically applying pressure to the brakes if vehicle on-board sensors detect the vehicle is in an emergency situation and the driver has failed to provide sufficient brake power, reports the Associated Press. The most common design detects how quickly the driver lifts their foot of the accelerator pedal to determine whether the car is in a critical situation.

Carmakers are said to be backing the proposal despite the costs involved. EU officials declined to estimate these costs but claimed it is "not overly expensive."

One issue a representative for the auto industry rose, and something we strongly agree on, is that there should also be better enforcement of road safety laws as well as improvements to road conditions.