There are 433 principal authorities, ranging from county councils through to metropolitan boroughs and unitary authorities, across the UK. Each one of these authorities has their own fleet, between them, the municipal vehicles often operating on our roads 24/7. With this in mind, we’re going to take a look at the dangers these types of vehicles face and how authorities can improve their safety standards by investing in the right vehicle safety technology.
The problem areas
Most local council vehicles operate within populated areas, which means that there are risks for both the operators and the general public. With potential to make such an impact, safety standards in municipal vehicles need to be at the highest standards possible at all time to avoid injuries, fatalities and claims against local councils.
What are the common issues?
- False claims made against vehicles
- Damage to fleet vehicles
- Injury or fatalities caused by fleet vehicles
- Drivers becoming incapacitated
- Poor standards of operation
- Weather-related accident
- Overworked, rushed operators
- Reversing accidents
Earlier this year, it was announced that there had been 400 accidents involving 200 Wolverhampton council-owned vehicles over the past five years. This cost the authority over £370,000 in compensation claims and repairs. Two of the highest payouts were a result of a council vehicle reversing into a third party. On both these occasions more that £20,000 had to be paid out.
Neighbouring Sandwell Council has been in the news too, following 744 crashes involving 447 council vehicles between September 2010 – 2015. In total, these accidents cost the council £653,909.21.
Down south, in Reading, there were 129 accidents involving municipal vehicles over a four-year period. Although not as high, these accidents still cost the council £281,000 over four years.
What technology should you invest in?
Depending on the specific needs of your fleet there are many products that can help to reduce these figures and promote vehicle safety.
To protect against theft, or unauthorised use of your vehicle, we recommend VT Ident – a system that will take control of all the electrical and hydraulic functions of the vehicle when necessary.
If false claims are becoming a real problem area for your fleet, why not invest in one of our CCTV recording systems. We have plenty to choose from including:
For braking-related incidents
AEBS safety technology has become huge over the last few years and has made a real difference to accident figures. Proven to save lives and ensure peace of mind for drivers, we’ve got two fantastic products to choose from:
To aid reversing
While data for municipal vehicles was limited when it came to causes of accidents, several reports did reference reversing accidents as being one of the biggest problems – and having one of the highest payouts. VT Banksman is our award-winning product with a radar collision prevention system, ensuring accidents like these don’t happen.
To promote cyclist safety
Cyclist safety has been in the news for a number of years now – with lorries, HGVs and other large municipal vehicles often being the biggest culprits when it comes to collisions. For a whole suite of fantastic cyclist safety products, take a look at the VT TurnSafe range.