Road safety measures need to be improved but omissions from the recent updates to the Highway Code* in the UK are very disappointing, according to road safety champion and entrepreneur, Richard Edwards.
Edwards says: “While the amendments focus on the needs of people walking, cycling and riding horses they have completely failed to acknowledge the inadequacy of the warning triangle for all drivers if their vehicle breaks down, especially on busy roads and motorways.
“Alternative high visibility options are urgently needed to warn other road users of a broken down vehicle to help reduce the risk of accidents”.
In Spain flashing emergency lights+ are now replacing warning triangles to help reduce accidents involving drivers following vehicle breakdowns. A new law came in to effect in July 2021 allowing new V-16 emergency lights with geo-location to replace warning triangles by 2026. The change was introduced after it was reported that 28 people were run over and died while putting out the triangles in 2019 and 2020.
Edwards continues: “In Spain they now acknowledge that people are putting themselves at risk by using warning triangles after a vehicle breakdown. In due time I’m sure other European countries will follow. As far as I am aware we don’t have reliable figures for how many people are injured or even killed in the UK while putting out warning triangles, but they certainly aren’t a safe or realistic option for today’s road conditions.
“While the move in Spain might provide a partial solution, most vehicles already have flashing hazard warning tail lights. Adding another flashing light will do little to improve visibility, although when geo-location is mandatory in 2026 this will help to raise awareness of a breakdown for other road users but not its exact location. Importantly, there isn’t any standardisation and because an energy source is needed these devices might not be reliable.”
Richard Edward’s solution is the Be-Seen Screen, which is a straightforward and affordable alternative that is designed to improve visibility and provide vital extra seconds of awareness to help prevent serious accidents.
On many roads without hard shoulders emergency refuges are too far apart for many drivers to reach them safely.
The government has already acknowledged that all-lane running needs to be thoroughly reviewed on the planned smart motorways networkx .
For a vehicle that fails on a rainy afternoon in poor light conditions on any road, the screen is designed to provide a bright, reflective warning sign in moments. The screen has the same reflectivity as emergency vehicles, day or night, to make other motorists aware of a breakdown.
Powerful suction pads allow the screen to be safely fixed to the rear windscreen or boot of a vehicle, clearly displaying the distinctive chevrons and ‘broken down’ message. It has been tested in extreme conditions, no power is needed, and there aren’t any moving parts, so it’s a robust and reliable option for cars, vans, caravans and HGVs.
The product is fully endorsed by a former Senior Policing Area Commander of Thames Valley Police, who knows that the dangers and deaths on our roads need to be radically reduced.
With his 30 years of Policing experience, he sees this product as a ground-breaking innovation in the effort to save lives. He says: “As technology has changed with smart motorways, for example, the way all drivers of motor vehicles react to breakdowns also needs to change. This safety product, with the ability to deploy so quickly, will support them in doing so”.
For more information contact Richard Edwards at Be-Seen Screen on 01234 768430 or email firstname.lastname@example.org