Row over new French “blind spot” signage rules

A row is brewing over new regulations introduced in France on “blind spot” signage for heavy transport vehicles that are due to come into effect unexpectedly on January 1, 2021.

ESTA member FNTR, the French transport association, is contacting both the authorities in France and Brussels to ask for a delay and further consultation on the new rules which many argue have been poorly planned. 

“ESTA fully supports the concerns expressed by our French colleagues at FNTR. Of course, the changes affect all International transport companies working in France, said ESTA Director Ton Klijn. “We are also urgently asking our contacts in Brussels whether this action by the French authorities is a prelude to new regulations throughout the EU.”

Similar regulations are being considered in many European states following a series of serious and sometimes fatal accidents involving heavy goods vehicles and cyclists, often in large towns and cities. But while supporting measures to improve safety, many transport companies argue that the problem is caused by trucks and vulnerable cyclists sharing the same road space – a situation that will not be resolved by additional signage, however well-intentioned. 

As they stand, the new regulations in France will cover any vehicle with a GVW of more than 3.5 tonnes. Some, such as agricultural and forestry vehicles, are exempt, but foreign vehicles are included – unless they carry “blind spot” signage approved by another EU member state.

Full details can be found in the FNTR documents – in both French and English – in the Downloads section of this website here.