The 19/20 winter forecast has predicted a cold snap which will cause the usual problems across the roads of the UK. But whether our roads receive a light dusting of snow, or a Beast from the East 2.0, local authorities have a responsibility to keep roads – and drivers on the roads – safe.
Say ‘drivers’ and the first thing that springs to mind is usually the general public. But it’s not just the public who need to be protected…
Duty of care
The dangerous conditions encountered by gritter drivers – driving in the dark, on frosty or icy roads and often at slow speeds – naturally make them vulnerable to accidents, and employers have a duty of care to keep them safe.
Many local authorities and private contractors are ensuring the safety of gritter drivers by using our winter maintenance solution, which has been specifically designed for the winter service industry.
While gritter drivers are out on the road, our in-cab route navigation system guides them round winter routes using voice activated instructions and visual based guidance.
The system also fully automates gritter spreading controls; even allowing for any specific requirements such as bridges, landscapes and other road features while the gritter travels round its pre-planned route. This allows drivers to focus solely on driving and concentrating on the road and weather conditions.
Back at the depot, gritters are tracked and monitored in real time through an online portal, which alerts the depot if the driver stops or deviates from a route (for any reason), providing an added layer of protection by letting the depot know that gritter drivers are safe. If a section of the route has been missed, the navigation system automatically readjusts to ensure it is covered.
There is also a growing area of concern from the general public’s increasing claim mentality against local authorities for failing to treat certain road sections. Recent claims from members of the public against local authorities for accidents resulting from untreated road sections can reach staggering six figure sums!
The guidelines in Appendix H Winter Service Practical Guidance detail national best practice to combat this problem, suggesting that authorities should;
“make use, wherever possible, of electronic vehicle location systems together with automatic recording of salt spreading. This will provide corroboration of service delivery in cases where failure to salt is alleged.”
Our data capture software stores all tracked routes for 21 years and can be used to provide evidence in any claims made against local authorities for untreated areas of road, by showing the gritter in question actually treated the defined sections at the correct settings against the designated route.
Ready for winter?
If you’d like advice on how to improve driver safety this winter, our experts are here to help. Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.