Friday, 24 June 2011

Trixi Of The Trade: New Cycling Code Shows Truckers How To Avoid Accidents

Pic of Trixi mirror: handyshippingguide 

Ask a professional truck, lorry or van driver his or her opinion of cyclists and you are 100 per cent certain to get, how shall we put it, a strongly-worded reply. Some, it's fair to say, regard them as the bane of their day-to-day lives, but most are professional enough to recognise they have as much right to be on the road as them. 

There's no question, however, that driving on roads where cyclists are prevalent does present real challenges to heavy transport drivers. It is all too easy to miss or misjudge their presence - and before you know it a tragedy has occurred. 

Which is why the latest idea from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) is a great initiative. The FTA this week responded to the rising numbers of fatalities and injuries caused to cyclists by heavy freight trucks in London by releasing a new Cycling Code for drivers. The Cycling Code contains a host of measures and gives advice not just to drivers of trucks and vans but also to cyclists, business and local authorities who  manage the roads. 

Specific measures include advice to fleet managers on reporting accidents and near misses to educating drivers about cyclist awareness and the use of Trixi mirrors. 

“Cycling in London has doubled in the last 10 years. As operators of commercial vehicles regularly making tens of thousands of journeys every day to deliver essential goods and service to London residences and premises, we are acutely aware of the risks posed to other road users, especially cyclists," said the FTA. 

“As responsible businesses we wish to take the initiative to promote a Cycling Code of best practice to be followed by vehicles." 

Of course, telematics can play its part in helping to maintain the safety of both cyclists and truck and van drivers. Detailed tracking and GPS data can reveal and alert drivers to areas where cycling activity is heaviest, where accidents have occurred in the past and where Trixi mirrors are in place on street furniture and in particular on traffic signals. In other words, telematics add crucial - and potentially life-saving - depth and detail to the driver's knowledge of the city environment in which he or she is operating.

For more information on how iBox technology can help your fleet deal with these issues contact

In the meantime, if you want to read the new cycling code in full visit this link:

Thursday, 16 June 2011

BBC Hails Tracking Devices For Helping 'To Win War On UK Vehicle Crime'


It's not often the telematics industry gets mentioned in the mainstream media. So this morning's BBC Breakfast news report on how tracking devices are helping the UK motor industry to 'win the war against vehicle theft' was a really important moment.

The report was a response to the news that the number of car thefts has declined dramatically because of the use of telematics and other high-tech security features, such as immobilisers and smart keys.

The BBC reported that during the last seven years car thefts have fallen by around two-thirds and the vast majority of those thefts were of older vehicles, most of which were more than three years old.Last year 107,000 cars were stolen, down from 119,000 in 2010 and massively down on the 600,000 a year which were taken 20 years ago.

BBC transport correspondent Richard Scott reported that new cars in particular are becoming almost impossible to steal. And industry experts cited vehicle tracking devices as one of the main contributors to this dramatic change.

With 'smart keys' preventing thieves from starting vehicles on the road, many are now being loaded onto a trailer. But vehicles with sophisticated vehicle tracking systems - like ibox's Mates - are generally recovered quickly.

Andrew Miller, director of research at car insurance repair research centre, Thatcham, said the reduction in thefts was "due to the incredible improvements to a raft of security systems including alarms, locks, immobilisers, toughened glass and tracking devices".

Miller warned, however, that the industry couldn't afford to rest on its laurels as criminals were working hard to get round the new, high-tech security barriers. So vehicle tracking specialists need to stay one step ahead of the criminals by continuing to develop newer and more sophisticated devices. We are certainly committed to doing that, but it's nice to get a pat on the back from in such a high profile way.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Caught In a Spot: New Roadside Fines Underline Importance Of Tracking And Telematics

Breaking transport laws became a lot more expensive this week as haulage companies started to be be hit by new, £80 release fees to get back vehicles seized under VOSA immobilisation notices.
Vehicles on the UK's roads are regularly pulled over and hit with on-the-spot immobilisation notices by VOSA officers for a variety of reasons, from mechanical defects to failure to pay fixed penalties. Trucks, vans and lorries are also taken off the road when drivers tachographs or other telematics reveal that they have been driving for dangerously long hours. 
The £80 fines are payable immediately by the transport companies rather than the drivers themselves, with the VOSA officers able to process card payments at the roadside or over the phone. But the bad news for hauliers and transport bosses is that vehicles won't be allowed back on the road until any defects are corrected, making breaches of the law far more expensive than just the fine itself. 
All this once more underlines the importance of telematics and vehicle tracking to fleet managers. Monitoring and analysing the sea of data telematic devices can provide is the best way to ensure that vehicles and drivers are within the law at all times. Bosses can keep track of all sorts of data - from driver hours to driving patterns via analysis of harsh braking and acceleration. 
For more details on how ibox technology can help you stay within the law, contact us today.  

Monday, 6 June 2011

Google Vehicle Tracking Guide - by ibox

We're always on the look-out for new ways to share our knowledge and help fellow transport professionals. So we've begun adding to Google's exciting 'knol' knowledge base with the first of what we anticipate will be a large collection of articles and guides on telematics and vehicle tracking. Visitors are already popping on to our pages in large numbers. It's early days yet but we hope to build it into one of the biggest and most important online resources for fleet and transport managers. Take a look here.