Vehicle safety specialist Lens-Tech has launched a new Vantage Point lens product specifically designed for use in vans, buses and coaches.
The Southampton-based Fresnel truck lens manufacturer was promoting the new product at the Commercial Vehicle Show in May.
“Just as with large truck and tractor units, there’s also a significant mirror blind spot problem with vans of all differing sizes,” said Lens-Tech business development manager Mike Eastwood, who is heading up the launch of Vantage Point.
“The problem’s different, but the result’s the same – the driver remains ‘blind’ in a deadly, mirror ‘no zone’ angle that exists in an area directly behind the van’s side panelling on the passenger near-side.”
Lens-Tech says its research and development team examined driver viewing issues in vans over the last few years and, having identified the critical mirror ‘blind spot’ area, set about creating a suitable lens fix.
“The first pre-production prototypes were shown to various van fleet managers and immediately caused a gasp when their drivers climbed aboard the vans used in trials,” said the company.
“At that moment they each realised to what extent they couldn’t see a nearside object in the van’s mirrors, against what was actually being revealed to them directly through the Vantage Point self-adhesive lens, press fitted on the inside of the passenger door window glass.
“Typically, in a close encounter with a vulnerable road user, positioned just aft of the passenger door window and hidden just a metre or so away from the nearside panelling, the potential danger is invisible to the driver through the window glass or via the van’s mirrors alone.”
Mike Eastwood is now reaching out to van fleet managers and health and safety executives to raise awareness both of the mirror ‘no zone’ and the self-adhesive, press fit, plastic lens, which he says represents a low-cost means of helping van operators and drivers ‘gain a good Vantage Point’.
Early users will include the Royal Mail’s courier division Parcelforce, which has agreed to fit all 80 of its Solent depot van fleet with the product as part of a major trial. Lens-Tech has also recently become a Freight Transport Association (FTA) Bronze Partner in order for the product to be recognised within the FTA’s Van Excellence scheme.