Jimmy Beam Down Lights
For the past six years some companies in the logistics industry have been using the Jimmy Beam Down Light (JBDL) system which fits underneath, but up to the edge of the truck or trailer and projects a ‘Vehicle Distancing Margin’ (VDM) and its associated ‘area of high risk’, outwardly from the vehicle but along the sides.
The illuminated area helps with TWO areas of concern: Firstly, it helps the driver to see along the sides of the vehicle when driving in poorer lighting conditions and so reducing the possibility of causing injury to anyone or damage to property; secondly, all road users benefit but in particular the Vulnerable Road User (VRU). The VRU can now see the ‘Vehicle Distancing Margin’ and the associated ‘area of high risk’ along the sides of the vehicle (daylight intensities permitting). The ‘area of high risk’ should be avoided in the interest of the VRU’s own personal safety and for the safety of all others.
Vehicle Avoidance Lights (VAL’s)
Buses and other vehicles with panels fitted close to the ground could not use the JBDL’s since they could only fit underneath the vehicle and not on the outside vertical surfaces. So a new Vehicle Avoidance Light (VAL) was designed to include the ‘patent granted’ side marker with adjustable angular downlight all-in-one unit. Further angular increments have been added so that the ‘Vehicle Distancing Margin’ and the associated ‘area of high risk’ can be projected out further, when being fitted closer to the ground.
When vehicles are overtaking or passing VRU’s, and when some VRU’s too, are nearing proximity to other vehicles, the VDM and its associated ‘area of high risk’ should be avoided and kept unobstructed by all. 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 ‘Vehicle Distancing Margin’ and the associated ‘area of high risk’ from the projected footprint and react accordingly.
Transport for London Bus Trials
To assist with the Transport for London (TfL) Bus Safety Standard and London’s Vision Zero, TfL and Metroline are trialling the VAL’s on 24 London Buses. Phase two of the trial, the switching ON of the VAL’s, started on Monday 12 October 2020. It is hoped that phase three (the ‘Vehicle Distancing Margin’ and the associated ‘area of high risk’ will flash during the bus indicator cycle), will start in the first week in December 2020.
So, during the trials and to help VRU’s and vehicle drivers in realising the ‘Vehicle Distancing Margin’ and the associated ‘area of high risk’ some London Buses may be seen using the VAL’s (daylight intensities permitting). The ‘area of high risk’ should be avoided by VRU’s, and not projected into others, by the principal vehicle driver alike.