The Intellicone® Safelane real time incursion warning system is celebrating its second anniversary this month. Since its launch it has been used on over 4,000 sites demonstrating significant safety and efficiency benefits to contractors & highway authorities across the UK and internationally. The value of such a real time warning system has now been formally recognised and underlined by Highways England in their latest (July 2016) Raising the Bar document (Managing Temporary Traffic Management Incursions).
Primarily designed to instantly warn the workforce of a temporary traffic management breach regardless of location and distance, the system has also demonstrated that it is possible to deploy fewer traffic management operatives (TMO) whilst enhancing safety. The latter has resulted in significant net cost savings on some road closures. Not only is this a major financial benefit, it also takes TMOs out of harm’s way, the primary objective. The safety benefits are profound with one Site Supervisor claiming it almost certainly prevented serious harm to his workforce during a dangerous errant vehicle incursion on the A14 in November 2015. A Traffic Management Foreman on the M25 J30 A13 Widening Project claims it is life saving technology and has helped safeguard workers inside the closure on multiple occasions, “Safelane has proved its worth on two separate occasions now, without it who knows what would have happened with regards to injuries or even fatalities”. To put this in perspective, on this particular scheme there were over 40 cases where motorists deliberately ignored road closure signs in 2015 alone.
Safelane is easy to deploy and comes with Wearable Panic Alarms for TMOs manning works access points alongside an integrated incident triggered camera. If an errant vehicle were to forcefully enter the site or even by mistake, the TMOs are able to alert the workforce instantly with the simple press of a button regardless of distance whilst incident footage is recorded. Despite best efforts in reducing the risk of incursions to an absolute minimum it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of an errant vehicle entering a temporary worksite. Enabling TMOs to instantly alert the workforce is therefore a major safety enhancement and important tool.
A second part of the system is the electronically alarmed full closure point which detects any unauthorised entry remotely. It consists of Intellicone® Dorman cone lamps which can detect motion and Portable Site Alarm technology. This brings an added deterrent effect to people attempting unauthorised access at full closure points. This has proven on dozens of occasions to significantly reduce incursions by opportunistic road users both on the Strategic Road Network and in rural settings. Deterring incursions in this way also significantly reduced the potential for TMOs to be the subject of abuse or even violence, an increasing problem. If an errant driver were to proceed to enter site a manned internal checkpoint can be installed ahead of the work area which will receive an alert and can act as a secondary barrier to stop the errant vehicle from getting to the work area. If this is not the case the alarm can be instantly escalated to the workforce. Such a checkpoint could potentially manage multiple closure points in a safe and efficient manner. Being primarily a tool for TMOs to enhance safety for themselves and the workforce operating within the closure it is therefore no surprise that workers are feeling safer working inside road closure with a real time warning system in place:
“The work crews feel safer on site thanks to the Safelane system, as they know that there are some drivers who just don’t care!”, Local Authority Contracts Manager. The analogy is simple: ‘it is pretty much a smoke alarm, you may even forget it is there but you definitively don’t want to go without it!’