Make rear cameras mandatory for heavy vehicles

Having proper facilities for workmen to rest is ideal ("Build proper rest facilities near worksites" by Mr Chua Tiong Guan, and "Call for safer rest areas for workers"; both published last Saturday).

But it doesn't solve the problem of backover accidents at worksites.

Loud alarms when a vehicle is reversing may also not be able to rouse those who are in deep slumber in time to get out of harm's way.

Incidents of vehicles reversing into objects or knocking over pedestrians when backing up are not uncommon ("Truck runs over 2 workers at worksite"; last Friday).

Bigger vehicles such as trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles are particularly prone to such accidents, but even small passenger vehicles have blind spots, and any undue carelessness while reversing can result in tragedy.

Better-planned, big construction projects configure their worksites so that vehicles loop around the site without the need to reverse, while there are mirrors in areas where reversing is inevitable.

Properly installed rear-viewing cameras, if used routinely, are the answer to preventing backover accidents. These should be mandatory in heavy vehicles.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 08, 2016, with the headline 'Make rear cameras mandatory for heavy vehicles'. Print Edition | Subscribe