Having recently celebrated their 20th anniversary in road safety, Backwatch Safety Products have the expertise to guide operators through ongoing legislative changes

The formal announcement of the Mayor of London’s Vision Zero action plan continues to make headlines and be the source of much industry discussion. At the heart of the plan is the premise that no death or serious injury on London’s roads is acceptable or inevitable, and a commitment to make the Capital’s transport network safer for all. This same ethos is shared by Backwatch Safety Products, who provide a comprehensive range of safety equipment to the UK and international market.

What does Vision Zero mean for HGV operators?

Now formally outlined, the Direct Vision Standard (DVS) rates HGVs from zero (lowest) to five (highest) stars, based on the actual field of vision which a HGV driver can see directly through their cab windows. The DVS forms parts of the HGV Safety Standard Permit Scheme, which will require all HGVs more than 12 tonnes to hold a safety permit when operating in London from 2020. HGVs rated one-star and above would automatically be granted a permit, while those rated zero-star (lowest) would have to incorporate a ‘Safe System’. As the team at Transport for London illustrated to FACTS, this ‘Safe System’ includes a wide range of vehicle safety equipment, including cameras, sensors, warning systems and more.

Backwatch have your back

Fleet operators are understandably concerned about being able to operate in London once the 2020 deadline arrives. To assist you in meeting and surpassing the ‘one-star’ rating for your fleet, the specialists at Backwatch Safety Products are on-hand.

Blind spot minimisation and elimination is critical to creating a Safe System under Transport for London guidelines. The Backwatch Blindspot Detection System incorporates audio visual sensor and camera technology to warn the driver of any vehicle, cyclist or pedestrian in a HGV’s blind spot. Fully modular, the system includes three ultrasonic proximity sensors over the wheel arch of the vehicle to give both audible and visual alerts to the driver. The Crossrail-approved system also incorporates a side and rear camera with the option of a turn alarm to ensure safety when changing lanes, turning and reversing on busy urban streets.

Suitable for the smallest of light commercial vehicles through to coaches and HGVs, the Blindspot Detection System can be combined with a digital vehicle recorder and monitor set-up to record irrefutable evidence in the event of a collision. Insulate your business from fraudulent claims and avoid higher insurance premiums in the process with a standard or high-definition multi-channel recording system from Backwatch.

Safety should always be a priority for any operator, but the vulnerable road user also has a responsibility to remain vigilant. Ensure your vehicles cannot be ignored with a reversing alarm to warn all road users of the potential for a collision.

Moreover, Backwatch blind spot sensors give a traffic-light coloured directional LED visual warning and three-stage audible warning to the driver that there is an obstruction in their blind spot. Up to four zones of protection are provided, with a wireless link between the tractor and trailer, which enables the warning system on the tractor unit to work independently of the trailer; ideal for tight manoeuvres in built-up areas.

Cyclist safety is a foundational tenet of the Vision Zero plan. Over the past three years, HGVs were involved in over 70% of cyclist fatalities in London, despite only making up 4% of road miles driven. Cycle Watch from Backwatch gives the driver both audible and visual alerts from a compact unit in the cab when an obstruction is detected by externally fitted sensors. Particularly helpful when turning, the Cycle Watch is self-diagnostic, independently tested and FORS, Crossrail, CLOCS and Transport for London-compliant.

Manufactured to the highest standards and offered with a comprehensive warranty, all Backwatch products are CE and E certified and as a minimum meet the new FORS recommended standards for vehicle safety equipment. To be compliant with the Vision Zero guidelines and for the safety of all road users, contact the team at Backwatch Safety Products about safety equipment for your fleet today.

For more information: 01656 721871, sales@backwatch.co.uk or www.backwatch.co.uk