…working together in partnership – to make the roads of London safer
間…(Ma) – The space between road users is just as important as the road users themselves.
Jimmy Beam Downlights Limited (JBDL) is now offering the the new Vehicle Avoidance Lights (VAL’s) system. The VAL’s are an all-in-one side marker light with a patent granted adjustable downlight included within the unit. An illuminated area is projected adjacent to, and along the sides of the vehicle (daylight intensities permitting). 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 realise a visible ‘area of high risk’ also known as a social distance margin (SDM) along the sides of the vehicle (daylight intensities permitting). The ‘area of high risk’ or SDM ought to be avoided in the interest of the VRU’s own personal safety and for the safety of all others.
If you have ever travelled on the train, or in particular the underground, you will know that there is a visible line also known as a social distance margin (SDM) along the platform which everyone is encouraged to stand behind, so as not to impede the ‘area of greater risk’ which is in close proximity to the approaching train? The SDM is usually accompanied by the “stand back from the line” message and is a well-known practice in the interest of personal safety. The VRU, pedestrians and cyclists in particular when in the vicinity of large vehicles E.G., whilst waiting to cross or use the road are faced with an identical scenario to the train analogy – maintaining a social distance margin from the vehicle. Many injuries and fatalities regarding VRU’s are as a result of this ‘area of greater risk’ SDM being impinged and because of the close proximity to the vehicle, it is not always possible for the driver to see, if anything, is within this area when carrying out the different complexities of a manoeuvre. It is for this reason that a visual margin surrounding the vehicle should be projected and avoided when possible.
An SDM that can be seen and used by everyone and which ought to be avoided, will help to ensure personal safety and can only help to reduce incidents, accidents and fatalities suffered by the VRU. 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 VALL footprint (daylight intensities permitting) and react accordingly.
The 1.5 Metre footprint is used by some Police Forces in their #OpClosePass
Just the same as with driver’s being prosecuted for passing or overtaking ‘too close’ to a cyclist, any cyclists that enter in to the Vehicle Avoidance Lights (VAL’s) illuminated footprint when in the proximity of a vehicle, could be deemed ‘too close’ and depending upon the circumstances, may be cautioned and/or prosecuted, if spotted. This information is correct and has the agreement of the West Midlands Police as of 07.11.2017.
If a vehicle is using external recording cameras in conjunction with the VAL’s and an incident occurs within the illuminated footprint, any possible impingement of the area can be examined with possible blame apportioned. The Highway Code stipulates a clearance to be given to larger vehicles to enable its safe handling.