Over the last 3 years there has been a huge rise in attacks across Europe involving hired or stolen vehicles that are being used to injure and kill as many people as possible. The attacks generally involve drivers running over pedestrians in an attempt to cause as much devastation as possible.
These tragedies often mean a high number of injuries and death. In the last two years, 4 major cities have been attacked multiple times leading to some of the worst disasters in recent history. In July 2016 on Bastille Day the attack in Nice led to 86 deaths with 303 injuries, recently the Barcelona attack led to 13 deaths and 50 injuries. Sweden suffered an attack involving a rigid truck which killed 4 people and injured 15. Even London suffered from multiple attacks this year, causing 48 injuries and 8 deaths.
These attacks are not always connected to terrorism with some of the drivers labelled as lone assailants, however many are linked to larger terrorist groups.
This growth in vehicle theft has led to many vehicle operators and transport managers questioning whether their vehicles are secure when used in public. How high is the risk of someone attempting to access a parked or unsecured vehicle and steal it to cause the next national disaster?
Luckily, there are solutions that will prevent unauthorised vehicle access stopping anyone from stealing a municipal truck, rigid lorry or hire vehicle. Vehicle safety experts Vision Techniques launched their VT Ident security system to the industry in 2015 and has been tailoring the RFID technology ever since.
“We’ve built the technology ourselves so we can adjust it to meet the needs of any of our customers.” Managing Di- rector and owner Michael Hanson explained. “But recently we’re seeing a lot of companies and councils wanting to specifically prevent vehicle theft – which Ident will absolutely do.”
VT Ident is a radio frequency control system that uses customisable short-range tags to allow or prevent access to certain ‘locked’ areas of the vehicle, such as the ignition, handbrake or even rear machinery.
The Ident tags don’t have any batteries, are easily replace- able and most importantly can have different levels of access.
“It’s possible for everyone to wear different tags with only the driver having the ability to start the engine, meaning you can take away any risk of theft and unauthorised use.”
The security system is unique in the industry for using passive RFID. Active RFID is very common – where the tag reader searches for tags within a wireless zone and allows access when users approach. Passive RFID means the crew can’t leave their tags within range of the reader – for example down the side of their seats or on the dashboard. Tag users must present their tags to regain control.
The technology is being used on vehicles across the country by integrated waste management special- ists Biffa, construction, services and property group Kier , Middlesbrough council and Perth and Kinross council to name a few.
The ident system also provides tag monitoring, meaning a fleet manager is able to check who is or isn’t showing their tags. Audible notifications can warn if someone without a tag tries to access the ignition or handbrake and any successful or unsuccessful tag uses can be exported for reporting or combined with a video DVR for video evidence.
Mr Hanson added “Ident was developed as a way of controlling which members of the crew have access to a vehicle, but the last few years have shown that preventing these vehicles from being used as high- speed weapons is an even bigger priority.”