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Two new UN Vehicle Regulations will increase the protection of pedestrians and cyclists

Two new UN Vehicle Regulations will increase the protection of pedestrians and cyclists

Accident truck with bicycle

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. They build  on the provisions adopted in 2018 introducing Blind Spot Information Systems (BSIS).

In the European Union, collisions with the front-side of a vehicle represent about 78% (5,250 per year) of all pedestrian and cyclist fatalities, while collisions with the rear-side of a vehicle result in about 11% (750 per year) of such fatalities, according to the EU Impact Assessment for General Safety Regulation.

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

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 meter 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 meters 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.

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 on 11 November 2020, entered into force on 10 June 2021. 

The European Union has decided to mandate the use of these two new Regulations as of 6 July 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 EU.

Note to editors

About the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations 

The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29), hosted by UNECE, is a unique global platform responsible for the regulatory frameworks regarding the safety and environmental performance of vehicles, their subsystems and parts.  

The World Forum manages three Global Agreements on vehicles: 1958 Agreement (UN Regulations); 1998 Agreement (UN Global Technical Regulations); and 1997 Agreement (UN Rules on Periodic Technical Inspections). Any country that is member of the United Nations may participate in the activities of the World Forum and accede to the Agreements.

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