Royal Mail Vehicle Fleet – Handbrake Safety Feature/New Technology Developments Update
This LTB is being issued to Branches and Regions as an update to LTBs 023/19, 025/19, 069/19 and 198/19.
As previously reported Royal Mail has had a worrying number of vehicle roll-aways since 2014, some of which have caused very serious injuries and even a fatality plus in some cases extensive property damage and huge costs have resulted. Police prosecution for serious Road Traffic Act Driving Offences can also be a result.
Royal Mail Handbrake Safety Campaign – “HIT” Acronym
Royal Mail with CWU support continues joint efforts to ‘raise the profile of vehicle rollaway risks and to promote the “HIT” driver parking safely Acronym as follows:-
Remember & Think “HIT”
- Handbrake On
- In Gear
- Turn the Wheels
Handbrake Safety Features & New Technology
The Health, Safety and Environment Department has been in ongoing discussions with Royal Mail Fleet firstly looking at what Handbrake Safety Technology is available on the market which is simplistic in design but has been engineered to make an enhancement to fleet vehicle operational safety and secondly, Royal Mail Fleet and the CWU have been conducting trials of three types of handbrake safety systems.
Two types of handbrake safety systems are being trialled on two LGV Motive Units. These are the:-
- ‘DAF factory system’ and the
- ‘Vision Techniques Brake-Safe system’
These two systems automatically apply the handbrake/park brake if the driver leaves the vehicle without applying the brake. LGVs have an airbrake system and automatic application via these new safety systems is possible.
Light Commercial Van Fleet
On the Light Commercial Van Fleet, two types of handbrake safety systems are being trialled and introduced.
These are the:-
- ‘TVG Parking Brake Safety System’ and the
- ‘Automatic Electronic Handbrake System’
The ‘TVG Parking Brake Safety System’
This system was initially fitted to 4 Peugeot Partner vans and the trial has now been extended to a further 100 new VW Caddy Vans and 1 Parcelforce Mercedes Sprinter van. This system consists of an Electronic Control Module and Sensor fitted in the handbrake mechanism. The electronic module detects when the vehicle door is opened and immediately checks the status of the mechanical handbrake sensor which will output a reading, having measured the amount of force applied to the handbrake lever and cables. If the electronic sensor and module detects that the amount of force applied to the handbrake has not reached the threshold and is insufficient to hold the vehicle firm when parked, an immediate loud audible alert will sound warning the driver to fully apply the handbrake to a point where the force exceeds the minimum threshold and the warning alert will then cease. Compared with existing standard systems where the driver is subjected to a repetitive automated reminder, this system will only ever voice a warning/reminder if the handbrake is not fully applied. (See attached TVG Specification Document).
The latest new batch of 217 Mk3 Petrol Engine Peugeot Partners and 15 Diesel Engine versions coming into service will come for the first time with an Electronic Handbrake which is operated by a switch rather than a standard handbrake lever. It can be applied manually but it automatically applies when the engine is switched off, so preventing the driver from exiting the vehicle and leaving the handbrake off or not applied firmly enough, as in some roll-away incidents. If the driver opens the door without applying the handbrake and without switching off the engine, a Visual Warning Display comes up along with a loud warning noise to alert the driver of what he/she has done wrong. This new technology development which thankfully Royal Mail Fleet Engineers have specified and included on this batch of vehicles will further contribute to combating the currently high number of vehicle roll-aways.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer