Cameras and sensors are no substitute for common sense – that’s the message from the Macedon Ranges’ top traffic cop after data revealed the area was among the worst for crashes involving reversing.
Latest figures from the RACV show 22 per cent of insurance claims involving Macedon Ranges drivers between 2010 and 2015 involved reversing collisions.
The 1087 claims were the third highest in the central highlands and goldfields areas.
Ballarat led the way with 2206, ahead of Bendigo (1899).
Hepburn was fourth with 231, while Loddon was ninth with just 14.
Macedon Ranges highway patrol’s Sergeant Geoff Neil said most reversing incidents happened in supermarket carparks.
He said while sensors and cameras in newer vehicles were a “nice aid” they should not stop people from turning their heads and looking over their shoulders.
‘‘You can have as many cameras as you like, but there’s nothing like having a look yourself,” Sergeant Neil said.
“Cameras are an aid, not primary protection.”
RACV insurance general manager Paul Northey said reversing collisions accounted for 24 per cent of claims statewide.
“You can’t turn back time, so take care when reversing,’’ he said.
“The average cost of these collisions rose from about $1800 in 2011 to more than $2600 in 2015.”
RACV recently released its annual Reversing Visibility Index, which tested 240 vehicles on a scale of zero-to-five stars to help motorists choose a model with better rear visibility.
This year, 65 per cent of vehicles tested scored five stars, compared with 53 per cent in 2015.
RACV has welcomed the improvements in reversing visibility technology in vehicles, but has called on manufacturers to have cameras included as standard in all models.
“Motorists who are not ready to upgrade their car to one that has a reversing camera could consider having a camera or sensors retro-fitted, which could improve the visibility of the car to a five-star standard,” Mr Northey said.
“[But] even if your car has parking sensors or a reversing camera fitted, you should not rely on these alone.”
– with Bendigo Advertiser