Reversing and One-Way Systems

Reversing is recognised as a significant driving hazard, particularly in confined areas. The risk involved can be reduced by:

  • minimising the need for reversing by the use of one-way systems and adequate turning areas;
  • ensuring adequate visibility for the driver;
  • providing safe systems of work;
  • providing adequate supervision and training.

In areas where reversing is unavoidable there must be effective arrangements to ensure that it is safe to reverse. To reverse safely, the driver needs to be able to see the danger area at the rear of the vehicle, or receive automatic warnings of any obstruction. The area must be clear of any pedestrians and other vehicles when reversing takes place. Where safe reversing relies on reversing aids, for example, closed-circuit television or radar, the vehicle should not be used if the devices are defective. When it is dark lighting and vehicle lights should provide sufficient illumination for the driver to see clearly when reversing.

Eliminating reversing by implementing one-way systems around site and in loading and unloading areas and through the provision of designated turning areas will reduce the potential for collision.

No single safeguard is likely to be sufficient on its own during reversing. All the relevant precautions need to be considered together.

It is important to check that the procedures work in practice and are actually being followed.