…working together in partnership – to make the roads of London safer

Jimmy Beam Down Lights

For the past six years now some companies in the logistics industry have been using the Jimmy Beam Down Light (JBDL) system. The amber vehicle downlight was accepted by the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) on the 05.05.2015 and is officially referred to as an ‘Optional Side Marker’ (OSM downlight).

It should be noted that OSM downlights are not a replacement for current side marker lights per se. The OSM downlights are designed as an adjacent lateral lighting facility and they are fitted along the complete sides of the vehicle from front to rear. They are spaced much closer together than ordinary side markers to project a continual ‘area of high risk’ (daylight intensities permitting).

The ‘area of high risk’ should be kept unobstructed by both the Vulnerable Road User (VRU), when nearing the principal vehicle, and by the principal vehicle driver when overtaking cyclists to ensure safe passage. This is in line with Operation Close Pass which is currently being ran by 39 of the 43 Police Forces in the UK.


 Vehicle Avoidance Lights as seen in


So the new Vehicle Avoidance Light (VAL), all-in-one unit was designed and included a side marker lamp and the OSM downlight with ‘patent granted’ adjustable angular increments. Further angular increments have been added so that the ‘area of high risk’ can be projected out further, when being fitted closer to the ground. The VALs with OSM downlights can be fitted to buses, trucks, trailers, vans, caravans and even some cars.

As already suggested the ‘area of high risk’ is not just a warning to other road users to steer clear of it, but it also reminds VRU’s of their own safety obligations by not getting too close, by keeping the ‘area of high risk’ unobstructed. We all have a responsibility and obligation to ensure each other’s safety by staying safely distanced from each other.

Even if VRU’s are distracted, perhaps when using the mobile phone, listening to personal headphones or they could be hearing impaired, they are not sole reliant on audio warnings. They can see the ‘area of high risk’ from the projected footprint (daylight intensities permitting) and react accordingly.

Transport for London Bus Trials

To assist with the Transport for London (TfL) Bus Safety Standard and London’s Vision Zero Campaign, TfL and Metroline have trialled the VAL’s on 24 London Buses. The trial finished at the end of February 2021.

During the trials, and to help VRU’s and vehicle drivers alike in realizing the ‘area of high risk’, the chosen London Buses were seen using the VAL’s with the aim of making the vehicle more conspicuous. For the trial, this included the ‘area of high risk’ flashing, in conjunction with the bus indicators, along the sides of the vehicle to heighten conspicuity as to the intended actions of the bus. View the ‘flashing’ feature in the Videos section in the menu bar at the top of this page.

The independent information and findings are to be published soon.

 …working together in partnership – to make the roads of the UK safer

For Further Information