Bus crashes into London shop, narrowly avoiding pedestrians

London got a stark reminder of the potential destructive power of large vehicles yesterday, as a double-decker bus crashed into a shop in the city’s north east region. Miraculously nobody died, but there were some quite serious injuries and some passengers and bystanders required hospital treatment. It’s exactly the sort of accident we’re committed to helping to prevent here at Vision Techniques, and that’s been the core motivation behind the development of our StopSafe technology.

What were the circumstances of the crash?

The crash happened on the morning of the 25th of January, in Chingford, an area of north east London. It was 8:20am, so lots of parents were taking their children to school, and people were going to work, which makes it all the more miraculous that there were no fatal injuries.

Eyewitnesses described seeing the crash unfold, with children jumping out of the way of the bus as it veered towards a zebra crossing, and there’s very unsettling CCTV footage of the same bus barely missing an adult pedestrian. The crash itself caused the driver to become stuck in his cabin, and he had to be cut out by firefighters.

Paramedics were on the scene within 15 minutes; three children and two adults required hospital treatment, and 14 other people are treated at the scene. While there were thankfully no tragedies, the sheer number of people in proximity to the incident just goes to show how dangerous it could have been. A preliminary investigation is underway; at the moment, there are reports that the brakes failed on the bus, causing the driver to lose control.

How we’re developing technology to stop these sorts of accidents

Accidents on this scale are relatively rare, but when they do occur, they can frequently be deadly. The number of serious injuries (or lack thereof) is often purely down to luck. A far more deadly incident occurred in Glasgow in 2014, in which a bin lorry driver lost control, killing six pedestrians and injuring 15 others. Unlike the recent London bus crash, this wasn’t caused by brake failure, but by the driver becoming incapacitated at the wheel – and that’s exactly the sort of scenario that we designed StopSafe to prevent.

In fact, our experts at Vision Techniques created StopSafe specifically in response to the Glasgow bin lorry crash. The StopSafe system installs a large button in the centre of the vehicle’s dashboard; this can be activated by crew members in the event that the driver losing consciousness (which is what happened in the Glasgow crash), or becomes otherwise incapacitated. The StopSafe system doesn’t apply full braking immediately, but instead applies them in short, rapid intervals.

(As of now, we don’t know the exact circumstances of the bus runaway, but if the brake failure affected the service brakes only and not the park brake, StopSafe would still have been capable of bringing the vehicle safely to a halt.)

Here at Vision Techniques we have extensive experience of working with organisations in the municipal sector, as it’s one of our key sectors. If you’d like to know more about what StopSafe can do for you, or you’re interested in any other vehicle safety products we offer – such as the award-winning BrakeSafe technology – feel free to browse our offering right here on our site, or alternatively give us a call on 01254 679 717, and we’ll be happy to help however we can!