Coach firm adopts new tech to enhance safety on the roads

A coach firm in Ribble Valley has adopted new technology from Wolverhampton to enhance safety for passengers, drivers, cyclists, and the public.

Bretherton’s Gold Line Tours, a family-run company since 1987, has installed the Human Detection System (HDS) from Spillard Safety Systems on its latest 53-seat Volvo tri-axle 990 coach.

Developed over the past two years, this technology is now being introduced across the bus and coach sector to prevent accidents, reduce injuries and save lives.

The HDS, launched last year, is placed on the side, front, and back of the vehicle and recognises pedestrians, cyclists, or motorcyclists within a 20-meter radius in real-time.

Upon detection, the system delivers an audio alert to the driver and displays the distance on a monitor.

This implementation of the HDS helps bus and coach operators comply with The Direct Vision Standard introduced by the Mayor of London in March 2021.

Jon Paul owner of Bretherton’s Gold Line Tours, said:  “We always have one eye on new things coming out that can improve the experience and safety of our passengers. Our long-standing relationship with Thomas Hardie Commercials brought Spillard’s Human Detection System to our attention and we decided that we’d fit it into our latest vehicle to see what difference it makes.

“First and foremost, it has eliminated all blind spots which is massive for us – especially in crowded towns and cities. The fact it also only picks up the human shape is also a major benefit as our driver knows if he gets an alert he needs to act. There was a bit of resistance at first like there is with all types of change. However, every driver who has used it would happily say they prefer to drive the Volvo 9900 over other ones in our fleet. That includes myself, as I still drive on some of the tours – I’ve been very impressed.”

Pete Spillard, managing director of Spillard Safety Systems, said: “It is great to see Bretherton’s Gold Line Tours embrace our Human Detection System and, importantly, enjoy such a positive experience.

“Like with all new products, we are listening to and building in feedback to make it even
better for existing and new users.”