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Rise in builders merchants using vehicle cameras, survey shows

Builders merchants are heeding the Freight Transport Association’s call for haulage firms to equip their vehicles with camera systems, a survey suggests.

Rise in builders merchants using vehicle cameras, survey shows

The call, made last year, followed a 50% increase in crash-for-cash incidents within less than 12 months.

The survey of 300 builders merchants by TrackCompare.co.uk, in association with Builders Merchants Journal, found just 45 (15%) were using cameras. Of those 30 had installed their system within the previous 12 months.

Kjell Anderton, a director of TrackCompare.co.uk, said: “This sudden increase appears to indicate a new awareness of the importance of camera systems and comes hard on the heels of the FTA’s campaign.

“Other findings lend support. For example, a third of those who had invested in cameras said they had done so to help drivers with their manoeuvring.”

Despite the importance of safety, the survey suggests almost 95% of UK builders merchants not using vehicle cameras are unlikely to install them over the next six month.

Kjell Anderton added: “It seems builders merchants are behind the curve regarding this technology.

“The sector’s 15% uptake figure is much lower than I would expect, and I found it particularly disturbing that more than 43% believe camera systems offer no real benefit. Builders merchants’ lorries, after all, use hi-abs and travel a good deal in urban areas; this means they face all manner of accident situations.

“Forward-facing cameras and even multi-camera systems would be of enormous benefit to them.”

Full results

1. Have you equipped your vehicles with vehicle cameras?

Yes – 45 (15%), No – 255 (85%).

Questions put to companies using vehicle cameras

2. What type of cameras are they?

a) Multi-cameras – 15 (33.34%), b) Forward-facing cameras – 30 (66.66%).

3. When did you get the cameras installed?

a) 0-12 months – 30 (66.66%), b) 12- 4 month – 15 (33.34%).

4. How much have you invested per vehicle?

a) £301-£1,000 – 30 (66.66%), b) £101-£300 – 15 (33.34%).

5. Why did you invest in cameras?

a) To help our drivers manoeuvre their vehicles more easily and safely – 15 (33.33%), b) To monitor driver behaviour and help with driver training – 11 (24.45%), c) To be able to show what happens during any accident/incident and defend against unfair insurance claims – 19 (42.22%).

6. Since installing cameras, what benefits have you experienced?

a) Driver and company protected against at least one unfair claim – 21 (46.66%), b) Helped improve drivers’ driving skills – 16 (35.56%), c) Fuel consumption reduced – 8 (17.78%).

Questions put to companies not using vehicle cameras

7. If you haven’t installed cameras, do you plan to do so over the next six months?

No – 240 (94.12%), Yes -15 (5.88).

8. If you don’t plan to install cameras, why not?

a) Never considered it – 135 (56.25%), b) No real benefit -105 (43.75%).

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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