Enfield Council protects vulnerable road users with PeoplePanels side protection for trucks
Enfield Council has become the first local authority in the United Kingdom to fit new purpose built safety devices to its vehicles to help prevent fatal collisions with cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.
Invented by a former Metropolitain Police motorcycle sergeant, PeoplePanels are designed to prevent people from becoming entangled along the sides of lorries, therefore significantly reducing the risk of injury during a collision.
PeoplePanels protect pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists as well as workers such as refuse collectors who have to operate near the sides of large vehicles while carrying out their jobs. Produced by Dawes Highway Safety, PeoplePanels are prominent warning signs with messaged warning people to stay away from the near side of the vehicle at junctions.
James Dawes, Dawes Highway managing director, said: “Prominent warning signage displayed on the side of large vehicles helps prevent collisions happening because it draws people’s attention to danger zones and politely reminds them to take extra care near the vehicle - that’s why it forms part of the mayor’s ‘Direct Vision Standard for London’ (due for launch in 2019). We have worked in close partnership with Enfield Council’s fleet manager Julian Minta to create a PeoplePanel design that truly reflects Enfield’s commitment to enhancing road safety.”
Watch Dawes Highway’s video on PeoplePanels
“By choosing PeoplePanels Enfield has gone even further than basic fleet safety expectations by combining enhanced visibility with specially manufactured and impact tested flat panels that completely cover traditional ‘open rail’ side guards.”
“PeoplePanels effectively close the gaps people could fall into during a collision where they risk becoming entangled and suffering serious or even fatal consequences. This is an important step forward in protecting vulnerable road users in London and follows examples set in New York, Washington DC and Boston where upgraded side guards are fitted on all municipal vehicles.”
“Having witnessed and attended many serious collisions in my former career I am delighted that Enfield have chosen to make our streets safer and lead the way for municipal operators in the UK.”
Critical shortage of cross-border permits if UK does not reach Brexit deal
The UK is sleepwalking into a disaster, according to RHA chief executive Richard Burnett, with no Brexit deal on the table and a maximum of 1,224 cross-border truck permits up for grabs.
The Haulage Permit and Trailer Registration Act, which gives government the power to put a permit scheme in place for hauliers wishing to carry goods across the French border after Brexit, received royal assent last week.
However there are only two recognised forms of permit for international haulage: a community licence, which is free of charge to holders of international O-licences, and European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) multilateral permit.
When the UK leaves the customs union, community licences will become obsolete, and the number of ECMT permits available is capped at quantities dependent on the emission standards of the trucks carrying them. If every truck granted an ECMT permit was the cleanest possible (Euro-6), just 1,224 would be available.
According to the RHA, this is less than 5% of the number of community licences in use.
Burnett told CM: “The EU is completely unwilling to even have a conversation about an alternative. That is catastrophic. This is a disaster scenario. At the moment we are facing no deal. We haven’t negotiated any terms of access into Europe, which means if we haven’t got permits, we can’t go. That means businesses out of business, it’s as simple as that.
“People have switched off Brexit but we are sleepwalking into a disaster. It’s up to us to find a solution for this. But what solution is there at the moment? There’s nothing.”
Burnett added that the potential queues for customs processes on either side of the channel remains a significant concern. “The Dover Strait handles 10,000 lorries a day and processing them through the port is seamless,” he said.
“The stark reality is that if customs controls are put in place it will take an average of 45 minutes to process each truck on either side of the channel. We could be looking at queues of days, if not weeks,” he said.