Camera Effectiveness and Backover Collisions with Pedestrians: A Feasibility Study

Monash University Accident Research Centre - Report #321 [April 2014]

Authors:  Fildes, B., Newstead, S., Keall, M. and Budd, L.

Full report in .pdf format [3.98 MB]


This study set out to examine the feasibility of mounting an international project to determine the extent of injury due to reversing vehicles colliding with Vulnerable Road Users (in particular pedestrians and bicyclists) and the effectiveness of reversing cameras to address this road safety problem. There were a number of key findings.

Preliminary analyses of police reported and in-depth data from Australia and overseas showed that backover crashes involve all road users and span all injury outcomes. However national police data alone, even if sourced from multiple countries, is not sufficient to define the full extent of backover crashes.  The data needs to be supplemented with information from non-road traffic crashes, as many occur in settings that are outside the scope of official traffic injury data collections (i.e. when not on public roads). An internationally based study involving major Australian, European and US organisations is proposed and a four-tier research program is outlined.

There is also a need to better understand the events leading up to a backover crash if the aim is to help maximise the benefits of camera or other technologies.  In this regard it may also be important to use information programs to highlight the limitations of this technology.

The US is presently working towards developing a new Regulation on Backover Crash Avoidance Technologies, while algorithms to support the automatic detection of pedestrians by camera systems are under development in Europe and may improve the detection of pedestrians for both forward and rearward facing cameras. As part of the background to its proposed regulation, the US has examined reversing technologies and may favour the fitment of reversing cameras, especially if costs can be reduced.


This project was funded as contract research by the following organisation:

Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development