Exactrak | Keeping Drivers Safe this Winter Season
Local authorities are investing in technologies to ensure driver safety in cold weather.
The 19/20 winter forecast has predicted a cold snap which will cause the usual problems across the roads of the UK.
No matter the weather, local authorities have a responsibility to keep roads – and drivers on the roads – safe. 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 vehicle tracking and navigation solutions from Exactrak.
Exactrak’s in-cab route navigation system guides drivers round winter routes using voice activated instructions. The system also fully automates gritter spreading controls; automatically salting and taking into account any specific requirements for bridges, landscape 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), then readjusts to ensure any missed route sections are notified and remedial action taken.
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, leading to accidents. Recent claims from members of the public against local authorities for untreated sections of the road can reach six figure sums.
The guidelines in Appendix H Winter Service Practical Guidance details national best practice to combat this problem, suggesting; “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.” (R13.13 Vehicle Location Recording)
To provide evidence of any claims made against local authorities for untreated areas of road, data capture software within the Exactrak system stores the tracked routes for 21 years and can be used to prove the gritter actually treated the defined sections at the correct settings against the designated route.
Ready for winter
BCP Council are ensuring driver safety with its recent investment in digital mapping and route navigation technology. Find out how the council plans and treats its winter maintenance routes.
To find out more about Exactrak’s winter maintenance solutions visit exactrak.co.uk