Improve safety with camera systems, says Brigade

More than 5.04 billion bus journeys are made in the UK each year. Around half of these are in London with approximately 1,500 passenger casualties reported each year and a further 6,000 minor incidents.

Data provided by Loughborough University on behalf of London TravelWatch has shown that the majority of injuries to passengers happened during acceleration, when passengers had not yet sat down or secured themselves as a bus pulled away from a bus stop, or when braking.

Reducing harsh braking and acceleration incidents is clearly key to helping to protect passengers on board buses. Bus drivers are often subject to many challenging situations during a working day. Manoeuvring buses in tight spaces, navigating busy bus stops, managing a fluctuation of passengers as they board and alight, and operating a large vehicle in congested urban areas all make a bus driver’s workload difficult and demanding.

Blind spot vehicle safety cameras and sensor systems can be an invaluable support for drivers, helping them to monitor what’s happening around their vehicles, as well as inside the bus itself.

Emily Hardy, a vehicle safety expert at Brigade Electronics, explains: “Passenger and pedestrian safety is a huge concern for bus drivers and operators. Fortunately, many operators are now embracing the opportunities afforded by technology to improve safety on board. These include 360-degree view cameras, which eliminate vehicle blind spots, reversing alarms and CCTV cameras for on board monitoring.”

Brigade’s Backeye 360° provides drivers with a bird’s-eye view of their vehicle, allowing them to see areas they cannot view from the cab. Live images are streamed directly to the driver, thanks to four wide-angle cameras, covering the front, rear and each full side of the vehicle. The device can also incorporate warning alarms, which sound an alert should a person or vehicle move into a blind spot, or if the driver is getting close to an object while manoeuvring at low speeds.

Backeye 360° is compatible with Brigade’s mobile digital recording (MDR) systems, which record the activity in and around the vehicle. In the event of an incident, the captured footage can be used as evidence and helps to protect drivers if there are conflicting reports.

For enhanced passenger safety, Internet Protocol (IP) cameras are helping to ensure drivers can monitor internal footage and doorways to ensure passengers are safely seated and doors are not obstructed before the bus pulls away.

IP cameras offer high-definition footage via a digital camera with its own IP address. Instead of transmitting video over a video cable to a monitor, the IP cameras transmit via a data connection where images are safely stored to the HDD memory. This means they can be connected easily to expansion modules using Power Over Network (PON) without the need to invest in expensive additional equipment.

One operator which has benefited from fitting Brigade’s safety devices is South London luxury coach company, Clarkes of London.

With vehicles in frequent operation throughout congested city centres, vulnerable road user and driver safety is a priority for the company. It has fitted both the Backeye 360° and MDR systems to its fleet of 140 vehicles.

Andrew Nixon, General Manager at Clarkes, said: “Our drivers cannot sing the praises of the system enough. It makes driving a large vehicle a pleasure and improves the safety of our passengers and other vulnerable road users.”

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