NatRoad recently provided feedback on a draft ADR that would mandate reversing safety technology.
We pointed out that Appendix A of the draft ADR contains content that should be revised. Clause 17.2.1 sets out that the driver should receive two types of “system” feedback. Visual and audible are mentioned. The nature and extent of the system requirements is unclear. The reversing alarm, if audible, should be made specific.
NatRoad policy is that beeper alarms are preferred for safety as the sound they generate is more likely to be heard in a high background noise situation. Yet beeper alarms are far more likely to generate nuisance noise in residential areas. Squawker alarms that adjust to ambient noise levels result in fewer complaints but are not as effective in high noise situations.
Operators should balance these factors when specifying an alarm type (and it should be their call). When tested in accordance with SAE J994 or an appropriate equivalent standard, the alarm should fall within the noise level range of 80 to 100 dB(A) +/- 4dB(A) at 1.2 metres from the noise source.