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Monthly Archives: April 2018

How Our Vehicle Safety Products Help Emergency Services

Posted on 27th Mar, 2018 by Jack Stocker

ambulance responding

The emergency services are amongst a wide range of industries that we serve here at Vision Techniques, and we’re happy to say that many of our products are universally useful in a variety of emergency situations. For the purposes of brevity we’ve summed up just a few of them in this post, categorising them in terms of how they enhance safety, security and effectiveness.

1. Safety

Using various devices such as vehicle cameras, emergency vehicles like fire engines and ambulances can effectively extend their ranges of visibility. Their roles require them to reach occasionally awkward locations quickly and discreetly, which means that drivers need to have exceptional awareness of the clearances of their vehicles. Ambulances, for example, will always need to park as close as they feasibly can to the casualty, whereas fire engines need to be well within range of the building to effectively fight the fire. Once the emergency is dealt with, reversing cameras and alarms can help them prevent accidents when they’re emerging out of these tight spots, alerting them to nearby passing pedestrians.

emergency ambulance parked up

2. Security

Though it’s not always a common occurrence, emergency vehicles can sometimes be targets for thieves or vandals. For this VT Ident, our Radio Frequency Identification system, is ideal for preventing unauthorised access, helping to guarantee the security of the vehicle. Just as few of the consequences of unauthorised access could involve (in the majority of cases) the theft of expensive or sensitive equipment, or even vandalism. In cases where the vehicle is actually stolen, thieves could speed across public highways with impunity, or write the emergency vehicles off entirely – which could be both costly for the service in addition to being incredibly dangerous.

3. Effectiveness

In addition to helping serve the security purposes we’ve just covered, mobile CCTV in particular is an exceptionally helpful measure for helping many emergency services perform their jobs to a highly effective degree. As we’ve mentioned, it can help drivers maintain unparalleled awareness of the clearances of their vehicle, and for enforcement organisations (like the police), it can actively record instances of dangerous driving or similar crimes in progress, providing valuable evidence for convictions.

police car driving

Similarly, it helps to ensure that there are no false claims made against the public servants themselves, protecting them from counter-accusations from criminals or even (in extreme cases) crash for cash schemes. When used in concert with these, fleet tracking and GPS tracking software is also a must for many emergency services, as it can help pinpoint the exact distance of individual vehicles from their destination.

This isn’t necessarily comprehensive, but should serve to give you just an idea of how our vehicle safety products can assist the emergency services. If you have any specific questions or if you’d like to place an order, don’t forget that you can always give our sales team a call on 08452 873 170, or for more details you can check our emergency services industry page.

How To Plan For The Dangers Of Driving HGVs In High Winds

Posted on 26th Mar, 2018 by Jack Stocker

lorry in rain and high winds

HGV drivers are often expected to drive in all weather conditions, day or night, which means that many are well-practised at dealing with inclement weather conditions including rain, fog or even snow. However, high winds can also bring their own dangers for HGV drivers, and they’re even risks that can sometimes be underestimated by fleet operators. Since safety is our business here at Vision Techniques, we thought it worth taking a look in a little bit more detail about what’s involved, and which of our vehicle safety products can help.

What Does The Law Say About Driving In High Winds?

At the moment, there aren’t any explicit laws governing when HGV drivers can operate in extreme winds – this is left to the discretion of fleet operators themselves, falling under their legal obligation to protect the wellbeing of their employees. This means that driving lorries in high winds is known as a point of contention for some HGV drivers, who are often subject to pressure from their employers.

On the whole, they say, larger or national companies are generally responsible on making these sorts of judgements. Smaller companies, on the other hand, are often more willing to take the risks for the sake of making their deliveries on time. This is part of why there have been calls for the government to ban driving Heavy Goods Vehicles and other high profile vehicles in extremely windy conditions. Their high profile means that they are more vulnerable to potentially being blown over, causing damage to cargo but – more importantly – posing a serious risk to life. Even if winds aren’t quite high enough for that to happen, there is still the fact that HGVs consume far more fuel under these conditions, which is often a vital consideration for fleet operators.

What Fleet Operators Can Do To Mitigate These Dangers

fleet operators doing logistics

There are a number of measures that fleet operators can take to safeguard the wellbeing of their drivers, cargo, and other motorists. These include:

  • Using fleet tracking software to plan the journey of their drivers, avoiding roads that are high up or exposed (such as bridges or flyovers)
  • Similarly, make sure that this planned journey accounts for lower speed limits, lane closures or potential diversions
  • Make sure that drivers are aware and alert for all the ways that such conditions could affect other road users – particularly smaller, lighter or more vulnerable ones such as cyclists or motorcyclists
  • Empty, curtain-sided vehicles should have their curtains tied at one end to reduce the effect of side winds.
  • Consider how the winds might have an effect on the fuel consumption of the HGVs in question

Finally, it’s also wise to look at safety devices such as VT StopSafe or VT BrakeSafe, both of which can be instrumental for mitigating dangers posed by extreme weather. If drivers lose control of their vehicle, for example, or become incapacitated at the wheel, our very own vehicle safety product StopSafe can help the crew to being the vehicle to a safe halt without danger of the lorry jack-knifing on a windy highway. Meanwhile, BrakeSafe provides an extra layer of security for HGVs parked on hills or inclines.

Browse our full range of vehicle safety products here, or if you’d like to make an enquiry, you can always give us a call on 08452 873 155.

Vision Techniques increases focus on the quarrying and construction industries

Posted on 19th Mar, 2018 by Dominic Benabda

Blackburn based vehicle safety company increases focus within the quarrying and construction industries to improve the safety for the workforce, following the appointment of industry proven specialist Lee Taylor (pictured right).

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How Fleet Managers Help To Keep HGV Drivers Safe

Posted on 1st Mar, 2018 by Jack Stocker

hgv driver

The welfare of the vehicles and freight itself is naturally one of the biggest priorities of typical fleet operators – but equally crucial is the welfare of the drivers themselves, who are often subject to unique stressors that can have a severe impact if left unchecked. This week we’re looking at some of the most important ways to protect HGV drivers, as well as how Vision Techniques products can help.

Restricting Time Spent Driving

This issue is well known as one of the most widespread problems facing the haulage industry in particular. Drivers are often subject to tight deadlines (or even paid on commission), and many are known to work particularly long hours on the road in order to meet them. It’s such a well known problem that there are a series of laws that govern the appropriate amount of rest drivers should take. These include:

  • At least 45 minutes of rest for every four and a half hours of driving
  • Only nine hours of driving is permissible per day, extendable to 10 hours no more than twice a week
  • A maximum of 56 hours of driving per week, and 90 in any fortnight
  • Minimum of 11 hours daily rest

hgv driver at work

Though there is little solid data available about how much these rules are adhered to, it’s arguably accurate to say there is a sizeable proportion of drivers who ignore them. It’s up to fleet operators to ensure that drivers are taking their prescribed breaks, as tiredness can easily lead to accidents. Our fleet tracking software is ideal for this sort of application, allowing operators to see where the vehicle is at all times and where and when it’s parked up.

Limits On Maximum Speed

This is arguably as much for the protection of other motorists as it is for HGV drivers themselves, but it still serves as an effective protective measure. Putting limits on the speed that HGVs are permitted to achieve discourages drivers from taking risks, or ‘seizing gaps’ in traffic that might put themselves or others at risk. It also allows emergency measures like StopSafe to take effect that much faster if the driver becomes incapacitated (e.g. by falling asleep at the wheel), thereby preventing collisions that might lead to injury or death.

HGVs Can Be Deliberately Targeted By Other Drivers

Not all threats to drivers are physical – they can be financial and legal, as well. Though an uncommon occurrence, some drivers have been known to target HGVs because of their slow-moving nature. These drivers can then induce crashes, either out of spite – such as this case involving careless driving in Scotland – or in Crash for Cash schemes. In order to protect against these, it’s wise for fleet operators to invest in in-vehicle recording software so that drivers can be easily exonerated in such circumstances, saving them from personal legal repercussions and the fleet operator from significant financial costs (in addition to the repairs of the vehicle in question).

Here at Vision Techniques, we are passionate about the safety of all road users, whether HGV drivers, other motorists or cyclists. You can browse our full range of vehicle safety products here, or for any enquiries give our sales team a call on 08455 643 337.