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Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision (until 2014)
The European Union intends to improve the safety of road users by reducing "blind spots". New provisions concerning the installation of more effective rear-view mirrors and/or the accelerated introduction of new technologies will enlarge the field of indirect vision of drivers of passenger cars, buses, coaches and trucks.
Directive 2003/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 November 2003 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of devices for indirect vision and of vehicles equipped with these devices, amending Directive 70/156/EEC and repealing Directive 71/127/EEC [See amending acts].
Serious traffic accidents often take place at crossroads, junctions and roundabouts due to drivers being unaware of the presence of other road users near their vehicles. Such accidents are more serious when heavy vehicles (trucks, buses, coaches) or vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, moped users) are involved.
So as to prevent such accidents, the European Union has adopted measures which aim to reduce blind spots in the immediate area around vehicles.
In the light of current technology, the provisions of Directive 71/127/EEC on rear-view mirrors are no longer adequate as regards the exterior field of vision to the side, front and rear of vehicles. Directive 2003/97/EC builds on the existing provisions so as to ensure that the field of vision is extended. In particular, it amends Directive 71/127/EEC, which it will replace and repeal with effect from 26 January 2010.
Directive 2003/97/EC harmonises the provisions concerning the type-approval of devices for indirect vision and of vehicles equipped with these devices.
The new requirements introduced by the Directive principally relate to:
- an increase in the compulsory minimum field of vision for certain vehicles;
- the installation of supplementary devices for indirect vision in certain vehicles (e.g. front mirrors on trucks);
- adaptations to technical progress (e.g. the curvature of the surface of rear-view mirrors);
- the replacement of some rear-view mirrors with other indirect vision systems (e.g. camera-monitor devices).
The new rules laid down in Directive 2003/97/EC will be implemented progressively. The timetable for introducing the new requirements thus runs from 2005 to 2010.
The vehicles covered by the Directive are motor vehicles of category M (passenger vehicles) and category N (goods vehicles).
Finally, the Commission will carry out a study in 2010 to determine the impact on road safety of the measures introduced by this Directive, particularly as regards vulnerable road users. Additional legislative measures might be proposed on the basis of the conclusions of this study.
Directive 2003/97/EC participates in the efforts of the European road safety action programme to halve the number of road accident victims in the European Union by 2010 .
|Act||Entry into force - Date of expiry||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Directive 2003/97/EC||29.1.2004||25.1.2005||OJ L 25 of 29.1.2004|
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Directive 2005/27/EC||19.4.2005||19.10.2005||OJ L 81 of 30.3.2005|