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Cyclist Safety: HGV Operators Installing System from SM UK

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Anyone involved in managing or carrying out haulage work should constantly be looking for ways to improve safety. There are some basic human concerns, of course, as collisions cause stress to all involved, and can cause serious injuries and even fatalities. On top of this, collisions can be expensive, harm a company’s reputation and will almost always lead to higher insurance premiums.

One of the biggest safety concerns for drivers of HGVs is cyclists. Their small size and manoeuvrability mean bikes can slip easily into blind spots. Worse, riders are often protected by little more than a helmet.

A company called UK has recognised this and, after listening to clients, it’s developed a new system to make it easier for those out on the roads doing haulage work to spot cyclists. Read on to learn about it.

I Can Feel Your Halo

SM UK’s pioneering new Halo system promises full visibility for drivers and automatic alerts for cyclists.

It aims to achieve this with:

• Cameras and sensors all around the vehicle.
• Audio warnings when turning, slowing or stopping.
• LED lights alerting cyclists to turns across their path.

The cameras broadcast to an in-cab monitor, giving drivers full awareness of their surroundings from their seat. The LEDs, meanwhile, give the Halo system its name. They shine a four-light pattern onto the road, producing a round bright glow.

While many people in haulage work will have encountered similar technology, SM UK is the first to provide an integrated system for HGVs and cyclists. Alternatives rely on alerting either drivers or riders, whereas only the Halo, SM UK says, makes both aware of each other at the same time.

An Integrated Approach to Road Safety

Halo is representative of SM UK’s approach to road safety more generally. The company prides itself on its holistic policy, aiming to encourage HGV fleets to cooperate with what it calls ‘Vulnerable Road Users’, or VRUs.

This ‘Driving Fleet Safety’ approach helps reduce the burden of responsibility on those doing haulage work, while also producing better outcomes for all. All 35 of SM UK’s own vans have four cameras each, and they say their new system will help operators across the industry take a similar approach.

Does it Work?

All this is well and good, but lots of companies make big claims about whatever new technology they’re selling. So where’s the proof that this one works?

It’s still early days, of course. But SM UK has partnered with LSS Waste Management, a frequent client, to trial Halo on the road.

The results have been impressive. LSS’s Nigel Woolford reports ‘a 90% reduction in claims of bumps, scrapes and other accidents’ since installation. This is all the more remarkable because the system has only been installed on half LSS’s vehicles. Moreover, according to Woolford, those actually on the roads doing haulage work have responded positively, with the fleet’s drivers all saying they feel more secure while driving.

LSS was impressed enough to put its money where its mouth is. All 75 of the firm’s trucks now have Halo installed.

With such positive feedback, it’s easy to see how the new system could improve safety across the industry.
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.

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