The Case for Safer and Quieter City Roads

Key players in the transportation and logistics industry will gather for the Freight in the City Expo in London this November. It’s an opportunity for the urban freight sector to share best practice and to discuss the complex challenges facing fleets that operate in built-up settings. Chief among these challenges are urban road safety and noise pollution – two topics we’ll be discussing with visitors to the Brigade exhibition stand.

Freight deliveries into city centre warehouses and retail outlets, as well as ‘last-mile’ delivery of online purchases to homes and offices, necessitate millions of vehicle miles on city roads and narrow streets. The explosion in internet shopping over the last decade has created an ever more urgent need to address urban freight driving, both to prevent road accidents and to keep noise levels to a minimum.

Noise pollution on the roads – a safety issue

In October 2018 the World Health Organisation (WHO) released new guidelines, pressing home the message that noise pollution is a serious environmental hazard to both physical and mental health. The guidelines, issued for the whole of the European region, state that the negative health impacts of noise pollution include:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Sleep disruption
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Harm to mental health and wellbeing

Noise pollution can come from many sources – including railways, leisure facilities, wind turbines and aircraft – roads are a major source of concern.

It’s not just engine noise that causes problems in urban settings: traditional ‘beep beep’ reversing alarms, intended to alert pedestrians, cyclists and other road users that a vehicle is reversing, are a major bugbear of residents campaigning against noise nuisance. These strident tonal alarms can be heard well away from the hazard zone; the sound waves can also resonate against metal panels (the sides of trucks, for example), causing confusion as people in the vicinity try to locate the source of the alarm. In response to this issue, Brigade Electronics pioneered a new kind of reversing alarm that has the ability to alert those in the danger zone with an easily locatable warning, without disturbing residents or workers in the vicinity. Brigade’s bbs-tek® White Sound® alarm is a highly directional multi-frequency broadband alarm which emits a ‘ssh-ssh’ sound rather than a ‘beep beep’. This is gentle on the ear and can only be heard in the danger area, automatically adjusting to 5-10 decibels above the ambient noise level.

We’re proud that this ground-breaking product is the only reversing alarm to have been awarded a Quiet Mark from the Noise Abatement Society a leading campaign group that works to solve public noise nuisance.

Freight reversing and low speed manoeuvring – Brigade addresses the risks

Manoeuvring an HGV or delivery van around narrow streets can be notoriously difficult, and even with an array of mirrors there will still be blind spots around the vehicle. Adding safety technology to vehicles can transform a driver’s ability to assess the space around their truck, enabling them to instantly spot any pedestrians, cyclists or fixed obstacles in their vehicle’s path.

Our bestselling products include:

  • Brigade’s Backeye®360 is an intelligent camera monitor system designed to assist low-speed manoeuvring by providing the driver with a ‘bird’s eye’ surround view of the
    vehicle in real time. Four ultra wide angle cameras are mounted on the front, rear and sides of the vehicle. The four live images are simultaneously sent to an electronic control unit where they are instantly combined and delivered to the driver’s in-cab monitor in the form of a single real-time image.
  • Footage from vehicle-mounted cameras can also be captured by our MDR digital recording systems, helping to provide invaluable evidence in the event of genuine accidents
    or false claims.
  • Backsense® radar obstacle detection is also designed to protect people and objects in blind spots – in this case by providing an in-cab audible and visual warning.

Our safety devices can be retro-fitted to vehicles by our extensive international network of approved Brigade fitters – the process is speedy and cost efficient, as our customers all over the world will testify. Please visit our case studies page to find out more.

If you’re planning to visit Freight in the City Expo on November 6th 2018, please visit our stand at V25 to discuss the many safety improvement that Brigade can deliver for your fleet.