Binmen given emergency system to stop out-of-control trucks

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

The system enables a crew member on a bin 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, “effectively the system reduces the vehicle’s speed while simultaneously bringing it to a controlled stop using the braking system.

“The system is activated using a secure emergency button installed to 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.

The company has been working closely with Craven Council in Skipton to help it better understand local authorities’ operations and requirements.

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

Craven Council workshop manager Steve Parkinson said: “Every council in the country 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 once available in May.

Vision Techniques said it will offer the system to every council in the country.