Draft Directive on Blind Spot Mirrors
Publication date: 09 October 2006
In its efforts to halve the number of road fatalities by 2010, the European Commission has adopted a draft directive which provides for existing heavy vehicles to be equipped with "blind spot mirrors". The Commission estimates that with this directive, 1200 lives could be saved on European roads until 2020.
The draft Directive aims at protecting particularly vulnerable road users such as cyclists and motorcycle drivers. Every year approximately 400 road users lose their lives in accidents, because lorry drivers fail to notice them when taking a right turn. New heavy duty vehicles of more than 3.5 tons will already have to be equipped with blind spot mirrors as of next year under an EU Directive of 2003. This will, however, not reduce the risks stemming from the existing fleet of heavy goods vehicles, which in the EU stands at around 5 million today.
Compared to the average costs of a retrofit (between € 100 and 150 per vehicle), the benefit for the society will be much higher. Where due to specific circumstances heavy vehicles can only be retrofitted at much higher costs, the proposed directives allows for flexibility; inspection authorities can accept exceptional alternative solutions in order to prevent distortion of competition in the haulage market.
For more information:
- Draft Directive on the retrofitting of mirrors to heavy goods vehicles
- Impact Assessment (executive summary and full text)
- Results of the Commission Consultation
com2006_blind_mirrors.pdf (62 KB)
sec2006_blind_mirrors_short.pdf (36 KB)
sec2006_blind_mirrors_long.pdf (84 KB)