Following a successful trial, Bishopsgate have invested in CCTV Vehicle Camera Systems for its London fleet
“I guess I have always wanted to install CCTV cameras in our trucks” said Tim Bloch, Bishopsgate’s MD. As long ago as the late eighties I saw the benefits creating “homemade” training videos with my camcorder. Then following an extensive trail with Fleet Witness over 24 months and a trip last year to the DHL Technology conference in United States of America, I wanted to move things forward in relation to vehicle-based cameras.
During the conference in Austin Texas I was chatting with our taxi driver, who it turned out was the company owner running more than a dozen cars, and she very quickly persuaded me that it was a good idea. I was with her in the car and witnessed a small bump as one of her employees struggled to navigate the busy hotel drop off area. But if I was going to invest, I wanted a system not just to help with any potential insurance claims but a system that would provide more benefits to the crews on the road and in turn my customers”
So what are the real benefits of this investment? Debbie Goy, Bishopsgate’s Health & Safety Manager sets them out as follows…
HGV Cameras Provide Irrefutable Proof in Accidents
One of the most obvious and tangible benefits of in-vehicle camera systems, is that it can provide impartial, efficient and indisputable evidence in the event of an accident. Bishopsgate and their drivers have invested significant time, money and energy in ever more challenging vocational driving training in the classroom as well as at the wheel and yet it is surprising how often without proof the driver of the big sign written “exhaust emitting” truck is seen as guilty without consideration.
Protection from malicious insurance claims
With ever rising insurance costs, we are constantly looking at ways in which we can reduce our costs by reducing our insurance risks. A CCTV Vehicle Camera System provides us with clear evidence on the cause of any accident and helps our crews defend any malicious claims.
It also helps to guard us against any ‘Crash for Cash’ schemes; a type of insurance fraud in which dishonest drivers deliberately cause accidents in order to profit from our insurance policy – something that has been, sadly, on the rise.
Increased Safety for other road users and your customer’s property.
We are passionate about safety, and the cameras eliminates driver blind spots and guards against the dangers of cyclist or pedestrian collisions. In London, cyclist safety continues to be an issue and vehicle cameras help give our driver’s spacial awareness as well as meeting FORS Silver standard and the soon to be introduced DVS (direct vision standards) regulations.
The external CCTV Vehicle Camera Systems with in cab monitor screen also provide reversing aids by giving a live feed of everything around them, including people, objects, and property. Our crews actually value the benefits that these driver aids bring, especially those in large trucks or vans.
Driver and passenger monitoring for bad behaviour
Vehicle cameras encourage safe and responsible driving too. We have an extensive driver training programme and invest heavily in our crews on the road. Along with our Driver Behaviour System driving our annual driver bonus scheme, live cameras help support us in this activity as we can monitor the way the vehicles are driven. This in turn helps Bishopsgate reach its GREEN objectives by minimising idling as well as promoting “best practise” in all aspects of driving resulting in lower carbon emissions, fuel use, and wear and tear of vehicles parts.
With nearly the entire population now carrying a camera it strikes me that having intelligent camera systems fitted to all our vehicles is a minimum requirement. Not just sensible but assuming it can be achieved without increasing customer costs I see the benefits quickly being realised even in terms of communication. Far from “Big Brother” the drivers, who strive to give 100%, see this as an aid ultimately opening dialogue between road crew, office staff and customers to drive further excellence in customer service.
Bishopsgate worked with Fleet Witness and our insurance broker, Allan & Thomas and have now fitted systems to all of our London based vehicles that cover the London and South East segment of the country. We plan to roll this out to the rest of its UK fleet over time.