Sadly, public safety vehicles are just as exposed to vehicular accidents as are commercial fleets because of the number of hours they are in service and on roads every day. All it takes is to consider everything they are responsible for doing at any given moment when behind the wheel and it is understandable why each agency should want to reduce accident rates accordingly.
Thankfully, there are fewer accidents than could be possible, but even one accident within each agency annually is more than they should experience. Why? The answer is simple when you think about it. They are out there protecting the general public and because of this, every government budget should have an allocation set aside for ways to keep those public safety drivers safe as well. Here are a few things that can be done.
Equip Vehicles With Collision Avoidance Systems
The availability of Collision Avoidance Systems in public safety vehicles will almost always vary between local, county, state, and even federal agencies. It all depends on budgets set by the legislative body responsible for those agencies, but it is a good guess that few police cars, for example, are equipped with them. Unfortunately, just one major accident can cost the city, county, or state, more than equipping every vehicle in their fleet with this amazing technology.
Consider police vehicles for example. Imagine one police car en route to a reported school shooting or armed robbery in progress. Their need for speed takes precedence over almost everything, even their own safety. Police cars are rarely equipped with these systems but should be. They are doing several other things while driving such as monitoring the police band radio for instructions, contacting other officers en route, and so forth. Just one child running into the road while they are focusing on getting to the scene could be catastrophic. This is where a Mobileye Collision Avoidance System for police vehicles could avoid even further trauma than may already be unfolding at the scene they are trying to reach.
Budget for Safe Driving Classes Routinely
Another thing many agencies could be doing is providing both behind-the-wheel driver safety classes or online modules to refresh their certification as required. These can ensure that the agencies protecting the safety of the general public are equipped with the tools they also need to stay safe on the job. While most of these drivers, at one time or another, took safety modules for their initial certification, technology has certainly advanced in that timeframe. Most safe drivers’ classes have a module on the latest advances in technology such as Collision Avoidance Systems in vehicles and the features available as they advance. This is something every planning board should allocate funds for. They are there to protect the general public, but who is there to serve them?
Enlist Support From the Community
While every board of administrators, public and private, are looking at the financial bottom line, there needs to be someone there to advocate for the safety of peace officers, firefighters, ambulance drivers, and paramedics, etc. It may mean enlisting the support of the community to attend city or county council meetings, but they can be a voice that demands to be heard. If you are looking to lower accident rates in public safety vehicles, it just might take the support of the community to get a budget in motion. That, in the end, may be just what it takes.