MRM: A smarter way to protect public transport

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In October 2015, a fatal bus crash in Coventry led to two deaths and many more injuries. Subsequent investigations revealed shortcomings in how the driver’s behaviour had been monitored in the period leading up to the incident. He had worked over 70 hours in the week prior, and received repeated warnings about dangerous driving following four crashes in the three years preceding the event. Earlier this year his employer was fined £2.3m for ignoring repeated health and safety warnings relating to Chander’s driving. In response, experts across the fleet and legal sectors have called for telematics and driver behaviour monitoring to be made compulsory for public service fleets and HGVs, to avoid such incidents occurring again in the future.

Providing systems such as Mobile Resource Management (MRM) fo public transport vehicles represents good business for transport firms in the UK. Not only does it encourage compliance with regulations such as the Health and Safety Act 1974, but they can help improve the safety of both drivers and vehicles. Through direct feedback on driver bad habits (such as harsh braking, rapid acceleration and rough cornering,) MRM provides feedback which can help local authorities coach drivers on areas of improvement, and eliminate gaps in their knowledge of road safety. As a result, it can encourage a reduction in behaviours that put both passengers and other road users in danger. Such solutions also provide insights into the condition of vehicles, highlighting where they can be proactively repaired or upgraded to improve safety, and can be used to inform routing and scheduling through analysis of road traffic data.

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The scale of the UK local bus industry, comprising 1.8 passenger journeys per day for every person in the country, may make monitoring every driver and their vehicle seem an impossible task. However, operators are obliged to keep the public safe and must possess the right tools to ensure driver behaviour does not put passengers in danger. Thanks to intelligent monitoring solutions such as MRM, operators now have access to unparalleled levels of visibility through intuitive ‘dashboard’ interfaces, which present all the key safety and performance indicators of a fleet in one place. This allows operators to allocate resources for improving safety in a targeted manner, and helps mitigate the potential for breaches of health and safety regulations in the public sector. Above all, it helps make the road a safer place for all users – a goal which we can all subscribe to. Providing systems such as Mobile Resource Management (MRM) for public transport vehicles represents good business for transport firms in the UK.

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