Blakedale | Investing in road worker safety
Blakedale Limited is reinforcing its commitment to highway safety with the launch of a new 3.5 tonne Impact Protection Vehicle (IPV), designed to provide additional workforce protection on carriageways up to 40 mph. The new “mini” IPV, also known as a Light Truck Mounted Attenuator (LTMA) Crash Cushion Vehicle, is one of the first of its kind in the UK.
In terms of overall road safety, current national figures show casualties are at their lowest level for over 40 years, but injuries to road workers have risen with the majority being caused by workers being struck by oncoming vehicles. IPVs make work crews more visible and in the event of a collision they reduce injury severity, to both road workers and road users, by absorbing some of the impact energy.
This protection is particularly vital during winter when longer nights and treacherous weather conditions can make road workers even less visible to motorists. However, these potentially lifesaving vehicles are only legally required on motorway and high-speed carriageways.
“As a family business with a long heritage in the highways industry, we are extremely passionate about improving road worker safety and this is an area in which we believe there should be continued investment,” says Carmen Bowley, Joint Managing Director of leading self-drive vehicle supplier, Blakedale.
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“Our mini IPV presents a pioneering concept aimed at providing protection for vulnerable work crews on lower speed roads where little is currently provided. The lower budgets and physical space constraints often associated with such works make the use of the traditional larger IPVs impossible.”
Blakedale’s latest offering shows that a functional level of protection can be provided by a smaller vehicle in lower impact energy situations at a lower price. Similar vehicles are already widely used throughout Europe.
With a bespoke built traffic management body and 900-kilogram load capacity, Blakedale’s mini IPV can be used to support a wide range of tasks, from roadside litter picking to highway maintenance in rural and inner city environments.
It is equipped with a Verdegro LTMA Crash Cushion at the rear, which has been crash tested to 70 km/h (43 mph) and is approved to NCHRP 350 standards. This Crash Cushion can also be used on larger 5.0 and 7.5 tonne vehicles, with the new 3.5 tonne version being the smallest. Above the Crash Cushion sits a mini light arrow board or LP13. This protects road workers by directing road user vehicles to the left or right of the working area.
The vehicle is also equipped with a number of other safety features including an LED light system, reverse camera and alarm, and a recordable multi-camera system.
Blakedale specialises in the hire and sale of Impact Protection, Traffic Management and General Maintenance Vehicles to local authorities and roadwork operators on a self-drive basis across the UK. As well as investing in new vehicles, the company is also investing in its team, which it is expanding to support the launch and continued development of this and other state-of-the-art vehicles.