How to make trucks more secure?
Trucks equipped with a blind spot mirror that offers the driver a better vision can save lives. Eight countries, including Belgium, are urging the European Commission to take a legislative initiative by the end of this year. They sent a letter to Elzbieta Bienkowska, EU commissioner for the internal market and industry.
In Belgium trucks are involved in one in twenty of the road accidents (5,3%), causing one in seven deaths (14,5%). In 2015 the number of traffic deaths with trucks involved was 94. Europe wants to halve the number of traffic victims by 2020. That’s why the ministers of transport of Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Austria and Luxembourg ask Europe to make truck safer.
One way to make a truck safer is a lower cab for the driver to improve his ‘direct vision’ and to ameliorate crash performance. This could save up to 900 lives a year. “The dead spot is one of the major problems with trucks”, says Stef Cornelis from the NGO Transport & Environment. “Adding a dead spot mirror or cameras could improve this, but even better is to lower the cabin to give the driver better direct sight. Some models are already available and are better suited for the urban environment. London is investigating whether or not it can legally deny trucks without pour visibility access to the inner city”.
Security systems are expensive and the trucking business is not eager to implement them. “But when they are imposed, they will be broadly accepted and they will become cheaper”, says Cornelis. The Flemish minister of mobility Ben Weyts (N-VA) announced that transport companies willing to invest in these systems can get subsidized for up to 100.000 euro.
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