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Pedestrians and cyclists are in a lorry’s blind spot for not much longer than three seconds. Unfortunately, though, this is more than enough time for an accident to happen especially when a truck is turning a corner. These accidents are all too often fatal and the chances of such an accident happening are increasing all the time as the number of people on our roads continues to grow. More lorries, more cyclists, more pedestrians and, added to the mix just recently, the new e-scooters – our streets are getting busier and busier. REMONDIS GmbH & Co. KG, Region Nord (REMONDIS’ north division), has decided to retrofit the whole of its fleet with blind spot assist systems to make sure all road users are kept as safe as possible.
“Everyone’s on the same page at our company when it comes to safety,” explained Andreas Abraham, manager of Region Nord’s workshop in Melsdorf. “If we can minimise the damage caused then the investment was worth every penny!” he continued. He recently ordered 350 LUIS blind spot assist systems for the whole of the region. It is now obligatory for all of REMONDIS’ branches in the region to use this system. Managing director Matthias Hartung has also been holding meetings at the company’s public private partnerships (PPP), such as SAS in Schwerin, to try and persuade them to retrofit their vehicles as well. “Such an investment had obviously not been factored in to the PPPs’ annual plans but our municipal partners seemed very interested in the idea,” Matthias Hartung concluded.
Andreas Abraham, Manager of Region Nord’s workshop in Melsdorf
Workshop manager Andreas Abraham is keeping a very close eye on the project to make sure it is being rolled out as scheduled. “The first phase covers all vehicles built between 2013 and 2016 – with priority being given to those used in the city centres,” he explained. All of the vehicles purchased by the REMONDIS Group since 2017 have been ordered with a blind spot assist system. EU law has made it obligatory for all vehicles to be equipped with such a system from 2021 onwards. Andreas Abraham, however, is confident that his region will have reached these high safety standards well before this.
The drivers are particularly pleased to be able to use this system. Thanks to an additional screen that has been installed in their cabs, they have their blind spot well under control. First the screen turns red if something moves in this area. An alarm then goes off if the driver turns on his indicator to warn him of the danger. The system does not automatically activate the brake – but Andreas Abraham believes this step is not necessary: “If the system interferes too much in the driver’s job or makes too much of a noise, then there’s a danger that they’ll turn it off because it’s getting on their nerves.” The LUIS system is proving to be a very good choice with many of the drivers saying it has already been well worth its while. There’s no knowing whether such incidents would have actually led to an accident. “What’s important though is that both our drivers and all the other road users feel safer in the future,” he said.
Schweriner Abfallentsorgungs- und Straßenreinigungsgesellschaft (SAS) was presented with a certificate by German minister Andreas Scheuer for retrofitting their vehicles with blind spot assist systems before they actually needed to. SAS managing director Andreas Lange travelled to the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) in July so that he and the German Minister of Transport could sign a safety partnership between the BMVI and SAS. SAS is one of the first PPP companies to take steps to increase safety on the roads. “A whole number of companies – small and large, public and private – are now joining forces to promote this cause. You are all role models and lifesavers,” Andreas Scheuer concluded.
German Minister of Transport Andreas Scheuer (centre) handing over the official safety partnership certificate to SAS Managing Director, Andreas Lange (right), and Stephan Wilmer, SAS Project Manager (left)