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Remove reversing alarms from vehicles

12 Comments 22nd February 2015

The current requirement to have all vehicles larger than a car sound a shrill alarm when reversing is unnecessary.

It is the driver's responsibility to make sure it is safe to proceed at all times. The current status quo shifts this and is used to intimidate visually impaired and other people out of the driver's way. If the driver cannot see it is clear he or she should enlist the help of a colleague and/or use side mirrors and proceed with more caution.

If nothing else at least the volume could be reduced. If a vehicle is in danger of hitting someone, they must be reasonably close. It cannot be necessary to have the alarms heard 500m away. And a person who is severely visually and hearing impaired will be in danger from traffic no matter what excessive noise is made.

Why does this matter?

The kind of noise emitted is very distressing to people with some conditions, such as mental health problems or autism spectrum disorders, and is of a type which is difficult to tell the direction of.

There are many situations where there are a lot of vehicles around, they are all sounding alarms and the noise sounds like it is coming from all around anyway.

It will be argued that the alarms are necessary to protect visually impaired people, but the only thing a visually impaired person can realistically do in that situation is panic.

The alarms are of no assistance to anyone from a safety point of view, it is just the worst kind of cya.

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12 Responses to Remove reversing alarms from vehicles

  1. Gabor Balint says:

    This is an excellent idea. I completely agree about the driver’s responsibility. There is no logical reason to distinguish between driving forward or backwards in terms of responsibility or danger. Drivers are not required to sound alarms when they are driving forward; they must display due skill and caution to drive according to the Highway Code.
    Also, I would think this could potentially be illegal in non-construction and residential areas, as vehicles are not allowed to make warning sounds unless there is imminent danger or they belong to Emergency Services.

  2. simon says:

    As a driver of a large van, you need eyes all over, especially when reversing,and an alarm or buzzer is a way to alert people, the amount of people who will walk behind a vehicle, or pushing a pram or using a scooter is amazing, they are like lemmings , and seem to appear from no where, with a death wish, even with some one guiding you. JUST WATCH THE NEXT VEHICLE REVERSING

    • Jake says:

      I have to say as someone who drives a small panel I have massive blind spots when reversing, Yes I can see behind me to a degree, however the amount of people, drivers, ect who will drive/walk behind me with out notice.

      I see the reverse beeper (white noise ones are far better) more as a warning that I’m reversing and may not see you till the last minute.

      I still reverse with caution, however, some drivers will still try and squeeze through at speed, without so much as a beep to let me know they are there.

  3. David Helm says:

    I am a HGV driver ,and Although I do see a need for reversing alarms,
    When reversing in a large Van or truck it is impossible to see what is immediately behind the vehicle,
    Technology is moving on and revering cameras are now widely available and can link into sat navs so they show an image of the area at the rear automatically when the driver engages reverse gear,
    However these items can be very expensive ,but the obvious argument is ” What price can we put on a life”
    I also think they should be regulated in Residential Areas.
    I have worked in the Transport Industry for 38 years and seen many changes,
    one of which is the introduction of reverse bleepers/talking reverse warnings.
    I live 250 yards away from an Industrial Park ,which was originally a factory,
    Over the past few years several companies have been allowed to operate Trucks ,machinery Stacker trucks and loading shovels 24 hrs a day with a complete disregard for local residents
    I always try to consider other peoples right to peace and quiet during the night if I find myself having to Deliver in or near a residential area.

  4. peter, says:

    Simon is spot on, The public are as thick as they come, due to the nanny state this Country now runs, and the culture of claiming for everthing what happens to you, ,
    DAVID, There is a wire in the alarms to cut out the noise in the hours of darkness and falls under the law of hours of darkness, and when vehicles are MOT this should be checked and failed if it bleeps, the other alternative is to get onto your local council and complain under Noise regulations and planning
    but you do need them

  5. Well. There is no need for it. In a dead end. Cudisac 24 hours a day. Driving me crazy. As there is. Two apartment blocks. It eco s and is. Not. Good. At all wakes up the children. Etc

  6. Local road works and new house build in Eccleshall has caused so much incessant Reverse Beeping that whilst doing nights my colleague rents a canal boat to sleep on during the day.
    The constant cacophony might comply with Health and Safety but surely contravenes the Noise Abatement Act.
    Should not be permitted near residential homes.

  7. addy says:

    Hi, I have been subjected to this torture emitting from a Tonka Toy on a building site.
    It’s far too loud.
    It’s not rear facing directional.
    The frequency (tempo) is too fast 85bpm
    The pitch bandwidth could be limited – less mid.
    Why not an organic natural or musical sound?

  8. Joseph mccormick says:

    I live at the side of a biffa reclaimation
    Plant 5.30 every morning vehicles reverse buzzers full blast 500 metres away why so loud .complained to manager but still happens hope i get hes phone number amd i can ring him at 5.30 so he can listen .council don t give a toss due to income from rubbish from miles around.any one help.

  9. Ros Fraser says:

    Great idea ! get them banned please !!
    I live next door to a potato farm and the beeper noise is driving me insane!!

  10. Dr Miranda Whitten says:

    I’m autistic and I live in a residential area close to some brownfield sites, and docks (both about half a mile away). It was quiet 10 years ago. Now, all day, I hear reversing alarms from 3-5 vehicles superimposed over each other – all discordant. Even with the windows shut. When I am at work, ditto, as I work on a campus with many vehicles and on-site construction.
    I can’t concentrate, I want to SCREAM and tear my ears off my head; I can’t block it out.
    It is pure, relentless torture. I can barely express how sorry I feel for those people who are forced to operate those vehicles.
    Reversing alarms are BADLY DESIGNED and usually are not tailored to the specific environment in which they will be used. They either need to be banned (as in London) or completely redesigned ‘intelligent / environment-adaptive’ systems a with mandatory phase-out date for the older systems.

  11. Outlaw these beeping noises on machines now. They make a nightmare of any machinery process that is going on, town or country, and are completely unnecessary for safety. It should be the drivers responsibility to operate safely without recourse to this horrible noise pollution.
    I can hear this maddening noise 2 miles away, this is audible bullying gone mad. Can the manufacturers be fined for equipping their wretched machines in such a way. I hope so.

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