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It was recommended that SUPDs not be adopted. Australian collision statistics showed that out of the total number of underrun collisions involving heavy vehicles, about 75% of the fatalities occurred as a result of a frontal impact, 10% of a result of rear impact and only a couple of fatalities per year from side impact. The cost was another deciding factor to not recommend the adoption of SUPDs in Australia.
3.1.3 Japan Japan has a general policy to promote the international harmonization of vehicle regulations;
however, currently Japan has not decided when and how UNECE R 73 will be introduced .
Current side guard regulations in Japan are outlined in two documents: Safety Regulations for Road Vehicle (Ministerial Ordinance) and its subordinate regulation (Announcement) . These documents refer to side guards as Pedestrian Protecting Side Guards. The Ministerial Ordinance mentions in Article 18-2 that Ordinary-sized motor vehicles used for the transport of goods or ordinary-sized motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 8 tons or more (except motor vehicles with a passenger capacity of 11 persons or more and motor vehicles having a shape similar to the motor vehicles with a passenger capacity of 11 persons or more) shall be provided, on the both sides, with pedestrian protecting side guards which comply with the requirements prescribed in the Announcement in connection with the strength, shape, etc. so that they are rigid and they are able to effectively prevent pedestrians, bicycle riders, etc. from being caught by the rear wheels of the motor vehicles. However, this provision shall not apply to motor vehicles having a structure stipulated by the Announcement as the one with which pedestrians, bicycle rider, etc., are not likely to be caught by the rear wheels of the motor vehicles.
With regards to dimensions and shapes, the regulations require that:
The pedestrian protection side guard shall be mounted so that, in the unloaded state, the height of its lower edge is 450 mm or less above the ground and the height of its upper edge is 650 mm or more above the ground.
The pedestrian protection side guard shall be mounted so that the distance between the upper edge of the pedestrian protection side guard and the loading platform, etc. may effectively prevent pedestrians, bicycle riders, etc. from being caught under the rear wheels of the motor vehicle. In this case, pedestrian protection side guards that are mounted in such a way that the distance between the upper edge of the flat section thereof and the loading platform, etc. is 550 mm or less shall be regarded as complying with this requirement.
Under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Transport Canada develops, maintains and enforces the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. All new and imported vehicles sold in Canada must comply with the Regulations. These Regulations are performance-based to ensure a minimum level of safety for vehicles sold in Canada, and are aimed at making vehicles safer for road users in Canada.
While manufacturers and importers must certify that their vehicles sold in Canada meet the regulations safety requirements, provincial and territorial governments, through their respective highway traffic acts, are responsible for establishing regulations and enforcement strategies for road use, vehicle and driver licensing, as well as operation and maintenance of vehicles.
While side guards are regulated in Europe, there are currently no federal requirements to equip heavy trucks and trailers with side guards in Canada. Such side guards are intended to provide protection to vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and cyclists, against the risk of falling under the sides of the vehicle and being caught under the wheels. Many factors need to be National Research Council Canada Centre for Surface Transportation Technology CSTT-HVC-TR-158 considered in order to evaluate if such requirements would be effective in Canada and North America. Truck travel patterns in North America are different than in Europe, and a number of trucks are operating in both Canada and United States. Transport Canada would therefore need to determine which type of trucks and trailers would benefit from side guards, and Transport Canada would need to align its requirements with trading partners. Furthermore, while side guards may provide environmental benefits on certain types of vehicles that operate on highways at higher speeds, it may be discriminating to certain vehicles that operate at lower speed in urban areas because of the added weight. In addition, effectiveness of side guards for Canada and operational aspects must be assessed, such as maintenance issues, implementation costs, and operation in Canadian winter conditions, as for example, ice build-up on the guards.
Nevertheless, because of the potential benefits to reduce collisions between vulnerable road users and large vehicles, this study, which is financed by Transport Canada, is aimed at evaluating the feasibility of requiring side guards on large trucks and trailers operated in urban Canadian environments. As well, environmental benefits or impact that may result from such guards are also evaluated.
Another study carried out by the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC), and in collaboration with Transport Canada, is in the process of being published. The scope of this project is to quantify the magnitude and characteristics of the problem regarding collisions between vulnerable road users and commercial vehicles in selected major Canadian urban areas by analyzing collision reports. It will also identify any solutions that are already available or have been implemented in other jurisdictions in order to reduce these types of collisions.
There is no regulation for SUPDs on heavy vehicles in the US. However, there have been a number of initiatives across the country to introduce legislation for enhanced protection of vulnerable road users (VRU). For example, Bill 17-981 known as the Bicycle Safety Enhancement Act of 2008 was introduced in October 2008 in the District of Columbia , requiring that all District-owned heavy duty vehicles be equipped with blind spot mirrors, reflective blind spot warning signs and side underrun guards to prevent bicyclists, other vehicles or pedestrians from sliding under the rear wheels.
A DC Council document  explained that funds are not sufficient in the FY 2009 through 2012 to implement the requirement to equip all District-owned heavy duty vehicles with side-underrun guards.
3.2 Types of Devices 3.2.1 Side Guard Design The types of devices used vary among jurisdictions. Typically, the side guards are designed, built and installed by vehicle manufacturers or third party parts suppliers. The literature reviewed
presented two types of side guards :
Mercedes-Benz Atego side guard: articulated device, allowing rotation about the longitudinal axis for opening/closing, as shown in Figure 2. Test data showed a maximum permanent deformation of 16mm for a 1kN load applied to the various guard positions.
Volvo side guard: double rail guard constructed from aluminum extruded section as shown in Figure 3, with a pivot mechanism for opening/closing.
While current side underrun protection devices fall into one of the two categories mentioned in the EU regulations, rail type or smooth type, there have been numerous European studies that recommended several design improvements for side guards. For example, the European Advanced Protection Systems (APROSYS) group sub-project titled Project Strategies for Enhanced Pedestrian and Cyclist Friendly Design, AP-SP21-0062 , recommended, among other measures, improvements such as all-surrounding-skirt and side guard systems that sense the initial impact and automatically brake the vehicle.
In general, sideguard regulations in the EU and Japan apply to heavy vehicles and trailers with a GVW greater than 3.5 tonnes. The typical vehicles are straight trucks and tractor-trailer combinations. Typical designs are rail type and smooth type, shown in Figure 4, Figure 5, Figure 6 and Figure 7.
Buses are not required to comply with Regulation 73 in EU. The reason is that buses meet the R 73 requirements due to their normal bodywork. The ground clearance of most European and North American city buses is approximately 14 in (355 mm). Other vehicles, such as the straight truck in Figure 8, comply with the regulations due to their inherent design, in this case underslung storage compartments.
Figure 8: Example of bodywork that fulfills the sideguard regulation requirements  It should be noted that although Canada has no sideguard regulations for heavy trucks, some operators have elected to voluntarily install some form of protection devices on their tank trailers. For example, Exxon requires that all vehicles used for the transport of goods have side underrun protection. This is a worldwide requirement for all vehicles used for transport at Exxon and it is mainly aimed at protecting bicyclist and pedestrians from becoming caught under the wheels. The company calls for best design and installation , requiring a minimum of 16 to 18 inches (40 cm) of ground clearance and advises the truck owners/operators to consult local and national highway regulations for legal clearance guidelines. Such devices, installed on Canadian vehicles are shown in Figure 9 and Figure 10.
Figure 9: Sideguards installed on a Canadian operated tanker trailer
Figure 10: Close-up of a sideguard installed on a Canadian operated tanker trailer 3.2.3 Materials and installation The most commonly used materials for manufacturing side guards are steel and aluminum.
A study conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) in UK , looked at the feasibility of using alternative materials for side guards and took into account the weight, strength, cost and recyclability of side guards built from such materials. The materials
considered by the study were:
Steel Aluminum alloys Magnesium alloys Titanium alloys Glass fibre reinforced plastic (GFRP) Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) The purpose was to determine whether or not alternative materials could be used in the construction of side guards in order to reduce the weight penalty and minimize the costs to industry due to reduced productivity. While certain benefits were highlighted for alternative materials, such as light weight, the overall finding was that these materials provided few benefits for such an application and therefore are not a viable option.
Side guards are typically installed as a bolt-on addition. The side guards can be fixed or hinged, depending on the application. Hinged side guards typically pivot about their upper edges to allow the vehicle operators to access vehicle components located underneath the vehicle while the guards are propped in the raised position. The operator is then responsible to lower and lock the guard into position before the vehicle may be driven.
3.3 Collision Statistics The nature of collision reporting dictated that very few side underride collision statistics were identified in the literature review. Collision statistics mainly identified the total number of bicycle and pedestrian fatalities due to an incident involving a heavy vehicle. These data are nonetheless presented as a means to quantify the gross number of collisions.
3.3.1 European Union
A 2008 European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO) report  based on data obtained from the Community database on Accidents on the Roads in Europe (CARE/EC) shows that in 2006 bicyclist fatalities represented 4.8% of the total number of fatalities in EU-14 and pedestrian fatalities represented 14.4% of the same number.
The same ERSO report shows detailed figures about bicyclist fatalities by country between 1997 and 2006 for EU-14, as illustrated in Table 1 and Table 2. In total, 1,188 bicyclists were killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles in 2006 in the EU-14.
Source: CARE Database / EC (Date of query: August 2008) ¹ Using latest data available, i.e. 2006 for all countries except LU (2002), IE and NL (2003), IT (2004), PL (2005) and UK (2006 for GB, 2005 for NI).
² The data from CZ, EE, HU, MT and PL are not considered
The same ERSO report shows detailed figures about pedestrian fatalities by country between 1997 and 2007 for EU-14, as illustrated in Table 2. In total, 3,547 pedestrians were killed as a result of collisions with motor vehicles in 2006 in the EU-14.
Table 2: Annual number of pedestrian fatalities by country, 1997-2006  Source: CARE Database / EC (Date of query: August 2008) ¹ Using latest data available, i.e. 2006 for all countries except LU (2002), IE and NL (2003), IT (2004), PL (2005) and UK (2006 for GB, 2005 for NI).
² The data from CZ, EE, HU, MT and PL are not considered A report published by the European Commission s Transport Road Safety department, based on CARE data, showed that in 2007, the number of bicycle fatalities in UK was 136, or approximately 4.6% of the total number of fatalities which resulted from collisions with all motor vehicles . The number of pedestrian fatalities in the same year was 646, or approximately 22%. The same report showed data for other EU countries. The Netherlands recorded 145 bicyclist fatalities or 20% of the total number of fatalities which resulted from collisions with all motor vehicles. Pedestrian casualties made up for 8% of the total number of fatalities, for a total of 55.