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Retro-fitting 'blind-spot' mirrors could save up to 100 lives a year
4.07.07 by Buffalo Bill

Tracking back on a google search for ‘blind spot mirrors’ that had brought someone to Moving Target, I found this report published by the Transport Committee of the European Parliament on the 27th of March 2007.

The Committee says that although legislation obliging all new lorries to be fitted with the mirrors will be effective from 2008 or 2009, that these mirrors should be also be retrofitted to older lorries.

This will require all new Large Goods Vehicles (that is any vehicle whose maximum gross weight is greater than 7.5 tonnes) to be fitted with a 4th mirror. The purpose of the mirror is to give the driver indirect vision to the area immediately in front of the driver’s cab. (See this post for explanation of how the various mirrors fitted to lorries work). An example of the fourth mirror and its placement can be found on the Dobli web-site.

The report continues: the Committee therefore demands that owners be legally obliged to retrofit these mirrors to heavy lorries in operation since 2000. Its key difference with some Transport Ministers on this proposal is that it believes that the implementation deadline – currently two years – is too generous, given that Member States already have a year to transpose the directive into their national laws. To prevent any delay in retrofitting, the Committee proposes a clear final deadline: 30 June 2008.

“Delaying the introduction of the measure would reduce its effectiveness and the beneficial effects of its implementation, which are to save lives. An extra 1,200 lives could be saved up to 2020, if the implementation was to start from 2008 and the societal costs would correspond to 2.4 billion Euro”, said Mr Costa, the Committee chair.

The EU consultation on the legislation estimates that around 400 people each year are killed by lorry drivers who have failed to observe them and that 1 200 peoples lives could be saved by 2020 if the measure, which would cost less than £100 per lorry, was adopted.

The first reading of the legislation was on the 10th May 2007 and a dead-line of March 2008 was adopted.

For more on the continuing problem of London cyclists being killed by LGV/HGV/lorries click on the HGV button on the ‘contents’ page of this site.

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