International road transporters should be ready for vehicle safety changes in France

Businesses transporting goods by road through France are being warned that new safety regulations introduced on 1st January should be adhered to or they could face fines.

The new legislation applies to all vehicles in France weighing more than 3.5 tonnes, whether they are used for goods or passenger transport. Vehicles need to have stickers clearly displayed on both the sides and rear informing others of the vehicle’s blind spots. Additionally, motor vehicles should be constructed or fitted with one or more indirect vision safety system, such as mirrors, with a field of view that does not include a blind spot likely to obscure a vehicle about to pass it. Controls for such devices should also be easily accessible to the driver while the vehicle is in motion.

Road safety campaigners and experts have welcomed the updates. However, they are warning fleet operators that mirrors alone are not enough to eliminate blind spots.

Emily Hardy, from Brigade Electronics UK said: “This legislation is a welcome change. However, it is important for operators to understand that mirrors alone do not eliminate blind spots. Therefore, they could still be fined according to the legislation’s requirements. We recommend fitting a range of vehicle safety technology, such as Brigade’s DVS Safe System kits, to ensure operators comply with legislation across Europe and that drivers have full visibility of their vehicle’s surroundings.”

These kits, which come in two different types (one for rigid vehicles and one for articulated vehicles), comprise side camerasultrasonic sensors for the near side of the vehicle and a warning alarm which is activated when the vehicle is turning. Both kits are compliant with London’s Direct Vision Standard as well as all relevant regional laws across the EU, meaning fleet operators can be confident that the systems will meet all necessary legal requirements.

One company which has benefited from fitting vehicle safety systems to its fleet of concrete mixing trucks is Lafarge. With road incidents being a significant concern for the construction industry, the company took progressive action to ensure its cement mixers were fitted with cutting edge vehicle safety technology to prevent road and site incidents.

As well as Brigade’s bbs-tek White Sound reversing alarm, Lafarge also installed Brigade’s Backeye360 – an intelligent camera monitoring system that eliminates blind spots by providing a complete surround view of all four sides of a vehicle.

Othmane Jennane, Président of Trans Route Béton, which installed Brigade’s technology onto Lafarge’s vehicles, said: “With just one look, drivers have a complete surround view of the vehicle without any blind spots and the added peace of mind that pedestrians will also be warned by the white sound alarm. It provides absolute safety.”