Quebec has introduced plans to develop a new “safety index” for heavy vehicles in a bid to better protect vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians.
Unveiled in a provincial action plan for road safety, the goal is to create the technical standard through the Quebec Standards Bureau (Bureau du normalisation du Quebec) and publish it in November 2024.
“The Quebec standard will consider several safety elements, including the driver’s field of vision, indirect vision [mirrors, camera systems, or other detection devices], and the use of other safety equipment [alarms, lights, indicator panels, side guards, or any other system designed to improve the safety of road users],” the bureau says on its website.
Different levels of government could mandate the Quebec standard or use it within calls for tenders, Ministere des Transports et de la Mobilite Durable spokesman Nicolas Vigneault said in an email response to Transport Routier.
For example, a municipality could require trucks that it buys or snowplows that it contracts to have a specific rating. Fleets could also draw inspiration from the standard when acquiring trucks. “This standard could, for example, serve as a decision-making tool when it comes to choosing heavy vehicles,” he said.
London Direct Vision Standard
A similar index in the U.K. — London’s Direct Vision Standard – applies a five-star rating that considers the views drivers have through the windows of trucks weighting more than 12 tonnes (about 26,500 lb.).
That standard is used to earn safety permits needed before entering and operating in most of Greater London. Trucks which don’t earn enough stars need to be upgraded with equipment like blind spot cameras, proximity sensors, side guards, upgraded mirrors, audible left-turn alerts, and warning signs.
A committee of “experts and stakeholders from various fields” has been established to develop Quebec’s index, Vigneault said. It includes the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), the Association du camionnage du Québec (ACQ), academics specializing in transportation and logistics, pedestrian and cyclist advocacy groups, and school bus and coach manufacturers.
Heavy vehicle equipment suppliers including trailer manufacturer Manac, truck OEM Lion Electric, and Groupe Labrie will also be involved.
- With files from TruckNews.com. This article includes translated content originally written in French.
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