Enfield Council has become the first local authority in the UK to fit purpose-built safety panels – designed to prevent fatal collisions with vulnerable road users – to its vehicle fleet.
Developed by Dawes Highway Safety, ‘PeoplePanels’ are intended to stop pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists from going under lorries in the event of a collision – reducing the risk of incurring more serious injuries.
The panels are fitted to the side of lorries, with prominent warning signs reading ‘take extra care near this vehicle’.
PeoplePanels have been developed by James Dawes, a former Metropolitan Police motorcycle sergeant, who is now managing director at Dawes Highway Safety.
Speaking to Transport Xtra, James Dawes said:
“Prominent warning signage displayed on the side of large vehicles helps prevent collisions happening because it draws people’s attention to danger zones.
“By choosing these panels Enfield has gone even further than basic fleet safety expectations by combining enhanced visibility with specially manufactured and impact tested flat panels that completely cover traditional ‘open rail’ side guards.
“These panels effectively close the gaps people could fall into during a collision where they risk becoming entangled and suffering serious or even fatal consequences.
“This is an important step forward in protecting vulnerable road users in London and follows examples set in New York, Washington DC and Boston where upgraded side-guards are fitted on all municipal vehicles.”
09 August 2018