Improving Road Safety by increased heavy vehicle visibility
Title Improving Road Safety by increased truck visibility Author Agota Berces, Technical, Regulatory and Business Development Manager, 3M, Traffic Safety Systems Division Abstract Over the last 10 years the road toll has shown a declining trend in all vehicle categories, including heavy vehicles despite the facts that the number of vehicles and the kilometres travelled on the roads have significantly increased. It is important that the downward trend remains and that is why still more can be done through innovative technologies to prevent truck crashes and fatalities. The first part introduces the audience to the science of retro-reflection explaining why we consider truck drivers having a disadvantaged position compared to passenger car users. Part two focuses on various researches accomplished worldwide and provides details of the benefits of introducing new safety standards in several countries to enhance the visibility of heavy vehicles and trailers. One of the major studies investigated the effects of a mandatory introduction of conspicuity markings for heavy vehicles by creating a detailed cost-benefit analysis for decision makers. Part three gives an overview of UNECE activities on the harmonization of vehicle regulations focusing on UN Reg. 48 and UN Reg. 104 highlighting the basic principles and differences. The final part of the paper reviews the practical side of the application of retro-reflective visibility markings and shares best practice selected globally showing abundant examples of new and retro-fitted heavy vehicles which could contribute to potential reductions in fatalities and crashes due to the mandatory and voluntary programmes worldwide.