Both ESTA and the International Road Transport Union (IRU) have raised concerns over the introduction of rules on blind spot safety stickers for road transport vehicles travelling in France. Talks are underway between the European Commission and the French authorities.

The rules stipulated that all lorries and buses on French roads must be fitted with three stickers that measure 30 cm in size – one at the rear and one each side of the vehicle. The rules came into force January 1, 2021, but a grace period until April 1 was granted to international vehicles.

Transport companies have pointed out that it is not possible for large numbers of vehicles, such as those carrying wide or oversize loads, car transporters, low loaders, and more. ESTA and the IRU have argued that the rules are “impossible to implement and will do nothing to improve safety”.

The urgency of the situation was underlined by the IRU, which said it has received reports that some international transport operators have already been penalised in France, despite the grace period.

Ton Klijn, ESTA director, said: “With support from our friends and colleagues at the IRU we have made ESTA’s views very clear and we hope this situation can be resolved quickly and amicably.

“We are always happy to discuss measures to improve safety but impractical and unilateral actions like this by individual governments are not the way to deliver lasting and meaningful improvements.”