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21.8.

2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 235 E/51

Under Article 67 of the Staff Regulations and Article 2 of Annex VII to the Staff Regulations the
dependent child allowance is € 223,99 per child per month. Based on supporting documents, the
allowance is granted automatically for children under 18 years of age and on application, with supporting
evidence, for children between 18 and 26 who are receiving educational or vocational training.

(1) Article 67 of the Staff Regulations, Article 1 of Annex VII to the Staff Regulations, general implementing provisions.

(2001/C 235 E/054) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4033/00


by María Sornosa Martínez (PSE) to the Council

(3 January 2001)

Subject: Need to standardise emergency lights on vehicles in the EU

In Spain, the colour of emergency lights on vehicles is not currently in line with the rest of the Member
States, where such lights are blue. This means that emergency lights displayed by priority and emergency
services such as firemen and ambulances are of the same amber colour as other services such as refuse
collection and slow-moving vehicles, with blue being reserved for police only. As well as being a source of
confusion, this causes traffic problems for emergency vehicles and puts citizens at risk.

In October 1995 and May 1996, the European Federation of Fire Officers’ Associations urged the Spanish
Directorate-General for Traffic to revise their regulations on the lights carried by the emergency services.
The Spanish Firemen’s Association has also repeatedly requested the Directorate-General to bring Spain
into line with the rest of Europe by replacing amber with blue for flashing lights carried by priority
vehicles, and the Directorate-General for Civil Protection has also concurred with the need to bring the
country into line with the rest of the EU.

Regulation No 65 of the UN Economic Commission for Europe rules that emergency lights be
standardised, but it does not specify which colour is to be assigned to each type of vehicle. In any case,
the Community has not ratified this regulation, because the Member States wish to retain the right to rule
on the use and technical specifications of such equipment.

In reply to Written Question E-3022/00 (1), the Commission said that if there were a change in the attitude
of the Member States the Community should then make provision for harmonisation of the lights carried
by priority vehicles, differentiating them from those carried by slow-moving vehicles.

Does the Council think that, in view of the safety considerations involved, the use of emergency lights
should be standardised, as called for by Spanish and European firemen?

If not, would the Council state its specific reasons for rejecting such harmonisation?

(1) OJ C 113 E, 18.4.2001, p. 230.

Reply

(7 May 2001)

As the Honourable Member rightly points out, Regulation No 65 of the United Nations Economic
Commission for Europe stipulates that emergency lights be standardised, but does not specify the colour
that different emergency services should use.

It is for the Commission, which alone possesses the right of initiative in this matter, to take whatever steps
are deemed necessary to advance further the harmonisation of technical specifications for motor vehicles,
including requirements for emergency lights, with a view to maximising road safety in the Community.

Should the Commission submit a proposal on this subject in the future, the Council would undertake to
closely examine the suggested provisions.