Road Network Operations
& Intelligent Transport Systems
A guide for practitioners!

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Vehicle Safety

Many countries have very strict vehicle safety standards. Vehicle manufacturers design to these. Sometimes there are further legal requirements (such as reversing alarms or fire extinguishers), especially when carrying Hazardous loads. Operators also choose to add other safety measures, such as extra lighting or reflective strips. ITS has recently enabled a switch from these passive systems to more active detection of problems and advisory mitigation measures. Examples include cameras to help with reversing and blind spots; cyclist detection systems down the nearside of turning HGVs; load sensors to detect dangerous temperatures or movements to alert the driver and emergency response vehicles. (See On-Board Monitoring and Telematics)


The main issues with regard to the implementation of ITS safety solutions are the same in established and emerging economies. It is a question of looking at the legal requirements, and if the decision is taken to go beyond these, then how much expense can the company spend on safety? This is complicated by the high financial costs of not investing if accidents occur. For lorries operating internationally, it is important to ensure compatibility with the different legal regulations and standards.

For emerging economies there are also issues relating to the durability of systems in different climatic conditions - as well as the availability of parts and trained maintenance personnel. Smaller organisational and operating changes - such as daily checks, improving owner accountability and adopting international best practice in truck safety achieve far more in improving truck safety than technology (cameras or sensors) on its own.

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