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November 5, 2018

Reducing traffic incidents means enhancing vehicle safety

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News that Toronto is regarded one of the most dangerous cities in the world for cyclists, is alarming to say the least. Yet despite best efforts to make roads safer for both pedestrians and cyclists, it seems some are quick to bemoan ongoing efforts to reduce road fatalities.

Effectively, road safety needs to evolve. And telling people to take better care, building more cycle paths, and handing out more speeding tickets is not going to cut it. While Toronto’s Vision Zero, which aims to eliminate all road-related fatalities in the city by 2021, has some great ideas in place, there’s little to suggest that overall improvements in driver situational awareness could help the city meet this target.

Short of banning vehicles altogether on all city roads – which, let’s be honest, is never going to happen – the only way to increase safety for all, including drivers, is to champion enhanced awareness of risk and to explore technology that creates situational awareness. And not just street equipment – such as automated speed sensors – but technology that ensures that drivers exercise greater caution.

While more modern vehicles now feature back up cameras and radar sensors as standard, additional vehicle safety expenditure isn’t always taken as seriously as it should be. Fortunately, many companies are now prioritizing safety and an increasing number of commercial vehicle fleet owners and operators are looking at more advanced vehicle technology – like 360 degree cameras, white noise alarms, and Mobile Digital Recorders (MDRs) – to minimize both damage and disaster and help drivers develop greener and safer practices.

Take garbage collection service, Advantage Waste, for instance which operates in nearby Hamilton ON. When one of Advantage’s front loader garbage trucks was involved in a traffic collision with a reckless car driver; a lack of witnesses meant local police had little choice but to write off the incident as a no-fault.

That was until Advantage produced pre-recorded footage from its Mobile Digital Recorder (MDR) – which ultimately saved the company more than $10,000 CAD in repairs ensured the third party driver was penalized and protect the drivers record and sense of justice.

This particular incident occurred when a speeding driver attempted to pass one of Advantage’s garbage trucks on a small road; just as it was turning. Local police were reluctant to take any action at first. But upon reviewing footage taken from the MDR system, Advantage was able to provide evidence to the police; which resulted in blame being passed to the third party.

The lesson here is clearcut. And in Advantage’s case, it paid off. But this incident also reflects how car drivers often feel a greater sense of road ownership, or act upon an urgency to move away quickly from large, slower, commercial vehicles. Attitudes towards municipal vehicles need to be addressed too.

Whoever incident fault lies with, the need for greater caution is paramount – to protect those in- and outside of any type of vehicle. And if city authorities are wholly responsible for specifying that commercial vehicles are equipped with necessary safety tech; what’s stop them requesting city drivers to follow suit?


About Brigade Electronics

Brigade Electronics (Canada) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Brigade Electronics plc, the market leader in backing safety systems. Established in 1976, it is the only company in the world to provide a complete range of backing safety systems. The range includes BACKALARM® reversing alarms, BACKEYE® rear-view and all round visibility CCTV, BACKSENSE® and BACKSCAN® rear detection systems.


Established in 2003, Construction Links Network is a peer-to-peer network sharing platform for the construction, building and design community. This one-of-a-kind platform provides the tools necessary to source and distribute the latest news, videos, events and innovative products / services the industry has to offer which helps our members plan, design and build great projects around the world.