Moves to harmonise standards and regulations governing lighting and marking on heavy transport vehicles throughout Europe are underway following the inaugural meeting of a technical working group, organised by ESTA.
The meeting took place in Frankfurt and was hosted by Bundesfachgruppe schwertransport und kranarbeiten (BSK), the German heavy haulage association and a member of the European Association of Abnormal Road Transport (ESTA).
The eleven-strong group was co-chaired by ESTA's section transport president André Friderici, technical director of Friderici Special; and vice-president Iffet Türken, executive board member of Kässbohrer.
As a first step, the group has started collecting and analysing information about the different regulations currently in force in different European states. This includes the methods of cargo and vehicle marking; rotating beacons; side marker lighting and conspicuity marking, which illuminates the outline of HGVs at night by reflecting the headlights of the vehicles following behind.
"This is a really important issue - unnecessary and often petty rules, differing from country to country, make the industry less efficient and less safe and ultimately put up costs for our clients," Türken explained.
"What is more, such rules can be used as a form of protectionism to discriminate unfairly against international carriers," she added.
Apart from ESTA and BSK, organisations on the working group include the Dutch association TLN, Tii Group, Hipertrans, Broshuis, Kässbohrer and Faymonville.
ESTA hopes that the working group will produce best practice standards that can be adopted by national government and international bodies to make them binding.