Delivery vehicles, urban and school buses, and heavy goods vehicles will be able to carry such signage on a voluntary basis. The aim is to convey to other road users, especially those most vulnerable in urban areas, the importance of avoiding spots where they cannot be seen by the drivers of these vehicles.

The Directorate-General for Traffic has issued a directive defining and raising awareness of the new sign warning of the dangers of blind spots on passenger and goods vehicles.

The aim is to warn vulnerable road users of the danger posed by being in these blind spots when approaching one of the vehicles in question, so they can move to a position where they will be clearly visible, thus avoiding risk.

This sign is the first of a series of measures being adopted within the European Union aimed at reducing the risk of accident by increasing the field of indirect vision for delivery van, bus and lorry drivers.

The ultimate goal is to eliminate the blind spot on motor vehicles. Until advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are fitted to all vehicles, the option of on-vehicle signs warning of blind spots may be useful in preventing accidents.

The sign

Fitting the sign is voluntary and applicable to passenger vehicles with more than nine seats, including the driver (vehicles in General Vehicle Regulation categories M2 and M3, category N1, N2 and N3 goods vehicles, and vehicles transporting waste in urban areas).

The signs must comply with the requirements set out in the directive to ensure maximum durability and visibility. They may only be sold from authorised establishments, which must be registered registration plate handlers.

It must be fitted in such a way that it is visible in all circumstances and must not obstruct the visibility of the vehicle’s statutory registration plates and markings, the visibility of lights or signalling devices, or obstruct the driver’s field of vision. The directive details the number of signs to be displayed, and how they should be positioned, depending on vehicle type.

The fleet of public service vehicles.

This signage has come about through cooperation between different government bodies, involving various city councils from the outset, among them Barcelona, Zaragoza Logroño, and the Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB).

The involvement of these city councils in reducing the number of accidents in their cities has also moved them to commit to placing ‘protect the vulnerable’ signage on their fleet of public service vehicles. For Barcelona City Council this will involve 2,199 vehicles, and another 800 for the AMB.

At the same time, work has also been done with the Business Organisation for Logistics and Transport, the Logistics and Freight Transport Innovation Centre and the Manufacturers and Distributors Association on promoting use of the sign and other initiatives relating to urban goods distribution to be implemented in the near future.

View less

80%

of people killed in traffic accidents in the city were from vulnerable groups.

Data for 2020

What lies behind the creation of this signage?

  • In 2020, 153 pedestrians, 134 motorcyclists, 21 cyclists and 7 users of personal mobility vehicles were killed on urban roads and a high percentage of accidents involving death or serious injury involved vulnerable road users and commercial and heavy goods vehicles.
  • Changes in urban mobility and road safety. An increase in the mobility of pedestrians, cyclists, motorbikes and new forms of mobility such as personal mobility vehicles in cities has been observed.
  • Increased commercial and heavy goods vehicle traffic due to the growth of logistical activity. E-commerce delivery vehicles can account for as much as 25% of the traffic circulating in some cities.
  • Ageing population. 70% of pedestrians killed in the city were over 65.
  • It is in line with similar initiatives being implemented elsewhere in Europe, for example in France, several German states and Greater London.
  • It is the first of a series of measures currently being studied in the EU and Spain, as well as by local authorities, in order to reduce the risk of accidents by improving and increasing the field of indirect vision for drivers of commercial and heavy goods vehicles.