Latest FORS requirements set to enhance road safety

Road safety experts Brigade Electronics has thrown its support behind the updated Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), which for the first-time places emphasis on the offside blind spot as well as containing updated guidance for right hand drive vehicles.

A voluntary accreditation scheme for fleet operators to encourage best practice in safety, efficiency and environmental protection, FORS exists to raise the level of quality within fleet operations and to demonstrate which operators are achieving the standard.

The organisation has now released new requirements for achieving FORS accreditation at Bronze, Silver and Gold levels which became effective on July 1st 2022.

The new requirements recommend that operators now monitor front and offside blind spots as this has been identified as an area of concern.    Indeed, according to former Police Database Research 6% of all fatalities occur from vehicles turning right and 32% of accidents resulted from right hand side swipes.

Right hand drive vehicles are also now required to have an audible alert when turning right.  These changes represent a significant step change as previously the requirement has always been to protect vulnerable road users by focusing on the nearside of the vehicle.

Rigid goods vehicles over 7.5 tonnes too have been incorporated into the new guidelines and are now required to have a camera system that monitors the rear blind spot.

Emily Hardy, UK Marketing Manager at Brigade Electronics, said: “The latest FORS requirements are welcomed by Brigade,” she said. “Fleet operators of all sizes must invest in road safety technology. Brigade recommends a combination of active and passive systems to alert the driver to threats in the vehicle’s blind spot.

“A further benefit of cameras over mirrors is their greater field of view such as that offered by our Backeye 360 which is an intelligent camera monitor system designed to assist low-speed manoeuvring.  Devices for indirect vision not only increase safety and effectiveness – saving lives – but they bring down insurance rates and expenditures related to vehicle damage.”

As well as the offside camera requirement, FORS is also asking operators at Silver level to fit cameras that are ‘able to digitally record incidents and assist in driver training and development.’

To achieve gold, fleet operators must undertake a review of the fleet operation to further improve environmental performance road safety and efficiency.

Emily continued: “Digital recording such as Brigade’s Mobile Digital Recording (MDR) systems capture footage from vehicle mounted cameras to both encourage driver best practice and provide evidence in the case of an incident.  Using 4G connectivity our Bridge Cloud Services uses MDR systems to capture footage from up to 16 vehicle-mounted cameras providing live insights and allow the fleet manager to monitor vehicle operations in real-time.”