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In a blog post published in late March, we referenced a big problem with stowaways crossing the border from Calais into England by riding on the axels of HGV trailers. It is a dangerous practice that can get people killed. In a related story, a number of haulage companies have taken a big step toward preventing stowaways from breaking into their trailers while slowed or stopped at the border. The strategy involves installing a CCTV system to catch potential stowaways in the act.

HGV UK recently profiled Wakefield-based Brian Yeardly Continental as one of the companies utilising this new technology. This company has installed the CCTV systems in partnership with Smart Witness, a company providing CCTV and safety systems to customers in the haulage sector.

The Problem

The problem with stowaways is two-fold. First of all, company drivers can be fined for transporting illegal immigrants across the border – even in ignorance. This puts them in the uncomfortable position of having to take the blame for something they have little control over. Second, the practice of trying to break into a moving lorry is dangerous. HGV UK says there have been at least four deaths in Calais directly related to the practice.

Officials from Brian Yeardly Continental say they have seen dramatic results since installing the cameras and warning stickers. The stickers make it clear, in no uncertain terms, that any activity at the rear of the lorry is being monitored. Since installing the systems, the company has not had a single stowaway on any of its 51 vehicles.

As an added benefit, the company has also seen its insurance rates drop dramatically. Managing director Kevin Hopper says his company’s insurance went from £135,000 down to £110,000. The money saved on insurance has more than covered the £7000 investment made in the camera systems. Company drivers are extremely pleased that their liability has been reduced as well.

The Wave of the Future

The success enjoyed by companies installing the Smart Witness system suggests we will likely see a lot more firms follow suit. This appears to be a very good time to be in the CCTV and safety equipment business for companies catering to the haulage and transport sectors.

We believe installing CCTV on company vehicles is a wise investment at multiple levels. As a provider of HGV driver training in the UK, our biggest concern is with the safety and well-being of company drivers. Knowing they are protected by use of CCTV surveillance helps to alleviate our concerns about illegal border crossings by stowaways.

We would love the opportunity to help your company be even safer through remedial training of your company drivers. The HGV Training Centre can meet all of your driver training needs including CPC driver training and certification. Remember, the deadline for completing CPC training is this September. Do not put training your company drivers off too much longer or you may find it difficult to find available class space.

Sources:

HGV UK – http://www.hgvuk.com/04/09/smartwitness-cctv-helps-hauliers-stop-stowaways/

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