The European Union has introduced new regulations designed to increase lorry safety by improving the standard of mirrors on vehicles.
Under the new directive certain vehicles over 3.5 tonnes will be required to be retrofitted with mirrors or devices to enhance the driver’s field of vision by 31 March 2009.
Directive 2007/38/EC extends the requirements of previous legislation introduced in 2007, which made an improved set of mirrors mandatory.
To aid the transition the FTA has published a Compliance Guide called ‘Retrofitting of Mirrors to HGVs’, outlining the new regulations and what operators and drivers need to do in order to meet them.
The guide also provides information on the legislation itself, advice relating to field of vision, requirements for retrofit and a section dedicated to questions and answers.
Geoff Dossetter, director of external affairs at the FTA, said: “The new generation of mirrors considerably improves the lorry driver’s field of vision and reduces blind spots, to the benefit of himself and other road users.
“Over many years there have been tragic accidents involving pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists moving along the inside of a heavy vehicle but totally unseen by the driver. The consequences of the lorry driver turning left, or simply adjusting his line on the road and into the path of the unseen pedestrian or rider, are obvious.
“Despite the benefits of the new mirror technology, the advice to all road users remains to take the utmost care when in the vicinity of heavy lorries. Whether slow moving in an urban situation or on a motorway or trunk road, give the lorry plenty of room and expect the unexpected.”