Two new UN Vehicle Regulations on the protection of pedestrians and cyclists enter into force

Two new United Nations Vehicle Regulations will reduce the number and severity of collisions between vehicles moving off from a stationary position or in reverse manoeuvre at low speed, and pedestrians and cyclists. The new Regulations, developed by the Working Party on General Safety Provisions (GRSG) and adopted by the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations entered into force on 10 June 2021.

The EU has indicated that it plans to mandate the use of these two new Regulations as of September 2022. Estimates by the European Commission show that the application of these regulations could save some 860 lives and avoid some 10,000 serious injuries per year in the European Union.

Traditionally, the safety of vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists was improved by increasing the number of mirrors to provide drivers with better visibility of the area in front and to the rear of the vehicle.  In recent years, the emergence of advanced driver assistance systems for several types of vehicle has opened up new solutions that will now become mandatory in countries that are members of the 1958 Agreement on vehicle regulations.

About the regulations

UN Regulation No. 158 on reversing motion (improving drivers’ awareness of vulnerable road users behind vehicles when reversing) introduces requirements for cars, vans, busses and trucks (vehicles categories M and N) to detect objects behind the vehicle that are at least 80 cm tall and 30 cm wide in an area ranging from 20 cm to 1 metre behind the vehicle. Two main technologies are used: ultra-sonic sensors and rear-view cameras. In the case of cameras, the Regulation establishes the requirement to ensure visibility of the area from 30 cm to 3.5 metres behind the vehicle.

UN Regulation No. 159 on moving off information systems for detection of pedestrians and cyclists requires the activation for buses, coaches and medium and large trucks (vehicles of categories M2, M3, N2 and N3) of a proximity information signal in case pedestrians or cyclists enter the critical blind spot area in front of the vehicle, should the vehicle either be preparing to move off from rest in a straight line or be travelling straight ahead at low speeds up to 10 Km/h. The Regulation also sets a requirement for an additional signal to be given when a collision becomes imminent, e.g. when the vehicle accelerates from rest and the pedestrian or cyclist is located directly in front of the vehicle. The systems must ensure the detection of adult or child-size pedestrians as well as adult-sized cyclists and bicycles.

Source: UNECE


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