Campaign founder Chris Hanson-Abbott has spoken out following publication of a report, which recommended re-designing tractor unit and heavy rigid cabs as the way to reduce deaths and serious injuries of vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists.
The Loughborough University study examined drivers’ fields of view from their windows and via mirrors when at the wheel of the 19 most popular HGVs.
Having identified blind spots, it recommended a new ‘direct vision’ standard – now enacted in London – be introduced to set minimum fields of view through windows and doors.
Hanson-Abbott says that’s fine, but operators and society don’t need to wait years for cab redesigns. They can use 360-degree camera systems, which can also be retrofitted to trucks already on the road.
“Re-designing lorry cabs will cost a fortune and could take years,” insists Hanson-Abbott.
“Why wait when there is a perfectly good solution available right now? More lives will be lost needlessly,” he continues.
“Bird’s-eye view technology is already tried, tested and in service, which gives drivers a continuous view of a wide footprint all-round the vehicle… 360-degree camera systems eliminate all blind spots on a single monitor image.”
Hanson-Abbott says harnessing this technology would be “far better than relying on multiple mirrors” because drivers can “take in all the information with one glance at a screen”.
Loughborough Design School’s study (for TfL) found blind spots even when currently legally mandated mirrors were deployed, and highlighted difficulties for drivers to interpret images from six curved mirrors at once in busy traffic.