UNECE: Two new regulations to improve safety of vulnerable road users
The limited ability of drivers to see correctly pedestrians in close proximity of their vehicle is a key cause of accidents, both for light duty, and for heavy duty vehicles. Two new UN regulations adopted recently by UNECE’s World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) to address this issue will help increase the safety of vulnerable road users. Both regulations are due to enter into force in June 2023.
Regulation on awareness of vulnerable road users for passenger cars and light trucks
Drivers cannot fully see all areas around passenger cars and light trucks by looking through the windows or in conventional mirrors. This is a potential safety risk especially when the vehicle is moving off from a stationary position or going straight at low speed (below 20km/h).
The new regulation introduces provisions for enhancing driver’s awareness of vulnerable road users at the front and sides of the vehicles through the use of devices, such as additional conventional mirrors, front and lateral view camera systems or detection systems.
It will apply to all passenger cars and new trucks not exceeding 3.5 tonnes. Once in force, manufacturers and suppliers will have the possibility to also request type approval against this regulation for any vehicle, for example, buses, coaches and heavier trucks.
Regulation on driver’s direct vision for large and heavy vehicles
When it comes to large and heavy vehicles, the high position of the driver leads to an even wider blind-spot area and poor direct vision around the front and side of the vehicle.
The new UN regulation aims to reduce to the greatest possible extent the blind spots at the front and lateral sides of the vehicle that exist in the transition zone between the area covered by conventional mirrors or by front and lateral view camera systems, and the area seen by the driver’s direct vision. This is achieved by setting a minimum visible volumetric space around the front of the vehicle. This method is new within UN regulations and provides more flexibility for the industry to innovate in their provision of the minimum required view.
CLEPA has been an active member of the UN working group since 2017, which also established the new UN regulations on “Blind Spot Information System for detection of bicycles” entered into force in late 2019 and on “Devices for rear visibility and detection“ and “Moving-Off Information Systems” both entered into force in mid 2021.