HC Deb 01 December 2003 vol 415 cc5-6W
John Thurso

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans there are to make Regulation UN ECE 104 on conspicuity markings on long vehicles legally binding; [141148]

(2) when the UK became a signatory to the UN regulation ECE 104 on conspicuity markings on long vehicles; and what progress has been made on its implementation; [141149]

what representations his Department has received from road safety organisations regarding Regulation UN ECE 104 on conspicuity markings on long vehicles. [141150]

Mr. Jamieson

The following table shows the number and percentage of deaths and serious injuries from road accidents involving one or more HGV by daylight, darkness and total categories for each year since 1997.

Mr. Jamieson

The UK became a signatory to UN ECE Regulation 104 on 15 January 1998. The regulation provides for the international approval of retro-reflective marking material for heavy or long vehicles. It also gives guidance on how the material might be shaped and mounted.

The Government have no plans to make conspicuity markings based on this regulation legally binding. Within the EU we recently agreed to incorporate the regulation into the EU type approval system for the installation of lighting and light signalling devices, but only as an option. As EU approvals can still be issued to vehicles without these conspicuity markings it appears that there is no scope for national governments unilaterally to require them.

The European Commission is investigating the costs and benefits of a mandatory requirement and may make proposals when its research is complete. The Department for Transport will await the results of the research before taking a view on whether any such proposal should be supported.

The Department has recently received representation from one road safety organisation.

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