Keeping staff and customers safe is naturally a responsibility that no operator should take lightly. From vehicle roadworthiness and staff training to customer safety, it is not an issue to be left to chance. That is why a plethora of businesses and commercial solutions are available to make adherence to safety best practice easier. We look at some of the options.
Training is key for Backhouse Jones
Via its training arm BACK Academy, solicitors Backhouse Jones provides a series of courses aimed at improving operator safety.
Jonathon Backhouse, Director of Backhouse Jones, believes training in the 21st century is going through a significant renaissance.
“In many ways, COVID has opened people’s eyes as to what can be done and has forced the benchmark,” he says. “A traditional room of delegates — where they are ‘spoken at’ for many hours by one voice, suffering death by PowerPoint — is no longer acceptable.”
He believes that live virtual training is a far more effective tool. Modern software enables high levels of interaction with the trainer, including quizzes and polls, together with commentary from the delegates both in written and live conversational format.
The solicitors’ training arm, BACK Academy, is approached from the perspective of what the Traffic Commissioner is expecting and is designed and delivered by solicitors who regularly appear in court or tribunal.
“This inside knowledge provides us with a unique perspective and is why our training products have seen a ten-fold increase in delegates over the last three years,” says Jonathon.
CheckedSafe has all angles covered
When it comes to the transport industry, ever-changing legislation updates and DVSA requirements can be a real minefield for businesses of all sizes to stay on top of. If you’ve found yourself with a headache when it comes to managing your fleet effectively, you’re certainly not alone.
CheckedSafe provides an effective solution to managing your fleet and ensuring you’re meeting legislative requirements. Its Director and Founder, Gary Hawthorne, says preventative maintenance inspections are a key way of operators staying on top of safety management.
Gary says: “The frequency of these depends on the vehicle type, but failure to comply will land you in hot water with DVSA — and it isn’t worth the risk!”
Driver licence verification is another important area with which CheckedSafe can assist. “DVLA recommends checking driver’s licences at least every three months,” says Gary. “This is often a cumbersome process for businesses with dispersed workforces or large numbers of staff.”
Walk-round checks before the start of each journey are a legal requirement for PSV drivers. Performing this and keeping the required records of such checks is another area addressed by CheckedSafe’s system.
SURE’s ‘proactive’ safety management
In an era where safety and efficiency go hand in hand, SURE Solutions offers cutting-edge CCTV and telematics aimed at transforming both elements for operators. The landscape of technology adoption is evolving and many operators are seeing the value in these additions to support such transformations.
SURE’s latest development is the AI-enabled CCTV system. This does not just record, but analyses and issues alerts, providing real-time insights for immediate action. The adoption of such technology by operators and manufacturers signals a shift to more proactive safety management.
Corners can be cut to save money, but often the problems that can arise from this will far exceed those initial cost reductions
For smaller operators, the consideration of initial investment in such technology is crucial. Every penny counts and SURE designs its solutions to be not only effective but cost-efficient. For operators of any size, investing in advanced CCTV systems is not just about compliance — it’s about safeguarding your assets, your people and the public. Corners can be cut to save money, but often the problems that can arise from this will far exceed those initial cost reductions. With insurance costs also rising sharply, ensuring that you get a swift resolution and optimum payout should an incident occur is paramount.
ShuttleID promotes passenger safety
ShuttleID is another solution which boosts safety management. It is a simple mobile ticketing platform that prioritises safety on school and staff shuttle transport. The platform helps operators issue or sell digital bus passes that can be scanned onboard with a driver-friendly app.
By scanning a mobile or printed pass, nine validity checks are completed in under one second to ensure only authorised passengers board. If a child boards the wrong service, the driver is alerted to prevent the passenger being transported miles away from their destination. Detailed scan log reports are available in the back office, allowing operators to precisely identify who has boarded their services and when.
The platform supports pre-booked travel to guarantee school and staff shuttle services remain within capacity. Real-time passenger count empowers drivers to prevent overcrowding, fostering a safe travel environment.
ShuttleID promotes proactive communication to keep parents reassured. SMS service alerts keep parents, students, and school staff informed of disruptions, facilitating transparent communication during unforeseen events. Instant boarding notifications assure parents that their child has safely boarded the bus. Live vehicle tracking adds an extra layer of safety, offering instant insights into the vehicle’s location.
Ticketer — an extra eye on the road
Ticketer’s updated road restriction alerts feature empowers operators with the ability to set navigational restrictions on their routes. Whether it’s “no left turn”, “no right turn”, “no entry” or “road closed”, operators have the flexibility to tailor restrictions to suit specific routes or operational needs within particular timeframes.
It also allows operators to set fully customisable hazardous restrictions and warnings. From cautionary messages like “icy road – drive carefully” to advisories about ongoing roadworks, operators can provide their drivers with any crucial information they choose to ensure smooth services.
With both audio and visual electronic ticket machine signals to alert the driver of upcoming restrictions, including with optional restriction time limits, for example in the event of temporary roadworks, operators can make it easier for drivers to avoid a no-go zone.
“Just like all other offerings in Ticketer’s product lineup, our innovations are designed to provide operators with a seamlessly integrated experience through our advanced cloud-based system,” says Richard Blackburn-Hughes, Chief Commercial Officer at Ticketer. “This means that our customers can relax in the knowledge they’re always getting the most up-to-date versions of our software over the air, and we will continuously evolve our innovative solutions as the needs of the bus industry change.”