The safety of employees and residents is one of the key concerns of fleet managers up and down the United Kingdom. Refuse collection vehicles are heavy bits of equipment and accidents can lead to devastating consequences. This is why having the right safety measures in place is essential.

West Dunbartonshire has become the first Scottish council to introduce innovative safety technology that allows its refuse collection vehicles to be brought to a controlled stop in an emergency situation.

The emergency braking system from Vision Techniques’ VT STOPSAFE system allows crew members or other passengers to safely slow down and stop the vehicle if the driver loses control for any reason.

When the system is activated, it limits the vehicle engine revs from the accelerator pedal and uses braking pulses to bring the vehicle to a halt in seconds. This method means the vehicle won’t swerve, skid or lock up, reducing the risk to other road users and pedestrians. Once activated, alarms also sound from the vehicle to alert pedestrians to an approaching hazard.

The Vehicle Certification Authority (VCA) approved safety feature was installed in each of the council’s 21 bin lorries in the past few months, and all waste services staff have received training in operating the system.

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