Crew braking system to halt runaway trucks

Vision Techniques has designed an emergency braking system for HGVs in response to the Glasgow refuse lorry tragedy that killed six people in December 2014.

The system enables a crew member on a refuse truck to bring a vehicle safely to a stop in the event the driver loses control by simply hitting a red button on the dashboard.

“We call it VT StopSafe,” said technical manager Nigel Armstrong. “The system reduces the vehicle’s speed while simultaneously bringing it to a controlled stop using the braking system.

“It is activated using a secure emergency button installed on the vehicle dashboard, allowing the crew to react to an emergency situation.”

It is available for any manufacturers’ trucks and is suitable for both new-build and retrofit options.

Blackburn-based Vision Techniques said it has been working on the idea since the fatal accident inquiry launched after the Glasgow incident made the case for councils to fit emergency braking systems to their fleets (CM 7 January).

The company has worked closely with Craven Council in Skipton, North Yorkshire, to help it better understand local authorities’ operations and requirements.

Trials carried out by the council have shown a refuse lorry can come to a controlled stop at speeds of 45mph when the emergency button is pressed.

Craven Council workshop manager Steve Parkinson said: “Every council was shocked by the events in Glasgow. If a driver loses control of the vehicle, it’s reassuring to know that equipment like this can step in to prevent a potential disaster.”

The council plans to fit the system to its fleet in May.

 

You can find out more about VT StopSafe at next month’s free Freight in the City Spring Summit on 3 March at Manchester Central. Visit freightinthecity.com for more information.

 

VisionTrack video system improved

In-vehicle CCTV specialist VisionTrack has introduced a camera system to overcome the problems of sending high-quality video clips from a truck to the fleet manager. 

The VT2000 can send a 10-second clip over a 3G mobile connection using less than 350mb of data. Other features include the ability to continue recording for five minutes after an incident to observe the behaviour of passengers in a colliding vehicle. 

CM will carry out a practical test of the system in the near future and will report on its effectiveness.