Millions of truck owners in the European Union will have to fit special blind spot mirrors on their vehicles, a measure expected to save hundreds of lives, EU transport ministers decided on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, the plan aims to help protect pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, whom truck drivers find hard to spot on the passenger side because of the gap in the field of vision which current mirrors do not rectify.

"A general approach has been agreed," a spokeswoman for the council of transport ministers told the news agency, which noted the plan now has to be discussed by the European Parliament.

According to Reuters, new heavy goods vehicles have to be fitted with improved mirrors under a law that came into force this year, but that regulation does not cover some 5m old trucks that are still on the road within the EU's borders, and the proposed directive aims to plug that gap.

The EU Commission believes 1,200 lives will be saved between now and 2020 by retrofitting the mirrors, the report added.