RearView has been set up to raise awareness of the necessity to improve safety for all road users when vehicles are reversing. Currently there is very little in the way of mandatory safety features to provide either warning to other road users, or assistance to the driver of the vehicle to reduce or eliminate the blind spot created behind a vehicle.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has recently completed an in-depth study on driver vision, undertaken by Loughborough University. Sadly this did not specifically address the restricted or non-existent vision behind lorries and other commercial vehicles which do not have the benefit of vision through rear windows or rear-view mirrors. Ironically, the possibility of introducing rear view cameras in cars was given more consideration than introducing such technology in HGV’s and LGV’s. Thankfully there are improved technical provisions agreed, but not yet implemented at EU level (which is now required) for additional mirrors on new HGV’s from June 2014. This is a welcome development in reducing blind spots to the front and side of lorries, but does not go far enough as far as RearView are concerned as it does not address the indisputable and considerable blind spot to the rear.
Whilst ultimately RearView hopes to help influence the introduction of mandatory equipment to eliminate the blind spot to the rear of commercial vehicles, one of the concerns about any new legislation, is the fact that it almost always applies only to new vehicles and does not address the safety issues on the tens of thousands of vehicles already on the road. Therefore, in the meantime RearView intend to approach freight companies, fleet managers and drivers themselves, with the intention of putting forward the case for the installation of rear view cameras and/or other technology (such as alarms and sensors), which will enable drivers to see who’s behind them and give other road users sufficient time to get out of the way or at least alert the driver to the danger. We also hope to encourage the Insurance Companies to reduce the premiums for vehicles with enhanced safety system, giving further incentive.