Scottish Borders Council
Scottish Borders lean up towards Edinburgh, broke up into 4 geographical areas with a small population across a number of rural areas. The council operate with approximately 450 vehicles, that’s a mixture of truck, light, heavy plant, vans and cars and around 700 items of plant. SBC operates an accident reduction scheme where any accident or incident whether it be actual accident or near miss will be investigated, Bruce Wiffits, has been Fleet Maintenance Manager for the last 11 years and is responsible for the delivery of the council’s safety strategies.
The council’s accident reduction scheme highlights any near misses or accidents that have occurred and through that Bruce has been looking at safety working practices, safety systems at work and safety fleet equipment which can help or go towards reducing the potential of an incident happening. Bruce tells us “We always keep abreast of the latest technologies that come on the market. One of the initial ones we looked at was car weighing systems on vehicles, we had incidents where refuse vehicles were having several allegations of causing damage to the public’s vehicles and property. Most of these were legitimate but there were some cases where maybe it was not so legitimate.” Already users of VT reversing cameras SBC were looking for a mobile recording device to use as evidence should an incident take place.
The opportunity came for multiple recording footage and SBC contacted us regarding VT RECORD3 to go forward with their existing 4 camera systems. Since installing the system the council has managed to identify several occasions where they have been able to prove a vehicle has not been the cause of reported damaged or that the damage was there beforehand. The installation of VT RECORD3 has been so successful, it has now become standard practice, so if a vehicle is involved in an incident the data is retrieved, investigated and then passed onto the insurance company which has led to lower premiums.
Bruce tells us the additional benefits to their new live system “We now have five camera systems running on our gritter fleet, the cameras are positioned on the front to see what conditions our guys are having to drive through, and on the rear looking at what’s left behind to view if the road clear enough for people to get through, we found it was beneficial to for us to see what was happening in real-time. This information made our decision-making process extremely quick we could decide whether we close the road or keep it open and allowed us to keep the public up to date on what’s happening out there”
SBC has now fitted the system on their refuse vehicles after complaints and comments from the public about unemptied bins. They can now check if the street has been done and if not, why not they can check if there is a blockage or roadblock restricting access. All this can be done from the office without having to remove the hard drives from vehicles and downloading footage, using live streaming to receive fast and accurate information. Bruce also adds “Fraudulent insurance claims is a big concern at present. VT RECORD3 has saved us a lot in the fact that we have been accused of damage that we haven’t actually done. From the driver’s point of view it can defend them. Previous to installing the system it took a lot of explaining, a lot of digging to find out the cause. Now we can wholeheartedly say yes we did do it or no we didn’t and it is 100% either way, it makes it a lot easier for us. It also gives the drivers a lot of security in the fact that if there is an incident and they get accused by the member of the public for doing something, they can say “Well I have got CCTV on the vehicle. We will check it and if I have made a mistake we can clearly see that.”