Tuesday, September 29, 2015

New Weapon for Road Haulage Freight Drivers Against Migrant Stowaways

All Round Security System Now Available to Prove Vigilance and Prevent Offences
Shipping News Feature

UK – EUROPE – With the headlines full of news regarding the flood of migrants travelling into Europe, and with particular concerns for road haulage companies with trucks entering Britain from Calais and surrounds via Dover and other ports, this week sees the introduction of a trailer defence system described as ‘bombproof’ by a UK haulier currently trialling it. The past few weeks have seen hauliers and freight drivers fined for their inability to guard against stowaways, much to the chagrin of many cargo carrying companies and the ‘Driver Buddy System’ is designed to eliminate the problem. There are two core elements to the System: Driver Buddy 4 and Driver Buddy 4+.

Driver Buddy 4 is a series of four infrared cameras located around the vehicle that have real-time recorded motion activated capabilities. These detect any clandestine entry into a vehicle and store the data digitally via a restricted access SD card. The driver in the cab will be able to view all cameras via a dashboard monitor. If a migrant is discovered he can alert border authorities who will then take over the handling of the situation.

Driver Buddy 4+ is a formation of four infrared cameras plus CO2 detectors that can be placed inside the lorry trailer. If there are clandestine passengers aboard they will detect the increased CO2 levels. The driver will be alerted via the dashboard monitor and can then report this to border staff.

The manufacturer says all the cameras are made from the toughest materials available and the various elements have all been carefully selected to meet US Military standards. Driver Buddy System is the brainchild of Barry Southon, a security expert with a career that has seen him working with both the US Military and the Home Office.

From infrared motion cameras to CO2 detection, the system works in tandem with the Driver Buddy Defence bespoke app. This allows drivers to monitor their truck in situ and remotely. A driver can view all cameras on board and underneath the truck and any clandestine passengers aboard can also be detected via increased CO2 level monitoring and the driver will be silently alerted.

Via the app, drivers are also able to provide real time photographic records of their statutory security checks and this is instantly logged onto a secure server. Using GPS tagging, the app records location, time, date and the driver’s identification. This can then be later produced to border security personnel when required. The evidence gained can also assist a driver accused of being negligent and potentially subject to harsh penalties. Dobbs Logistics, based in East Sussex, is trialling the App and Steve Morgan, MD, said the feedback was overwhelmingly positive commenting:

“It’s bombproof photographic and real-time evidence that the checks have been carried out. We can see what checks have been done, at what time and the exact spot they were carried out. It’s no comparison to manual forms that drivers fill out at present, they are not worth the paper they are written on.”

Another supporter is Conservative MP for Dover and Deal, Charlie Elphicke, whose community has been at the sharp end of a flood of illegal migrants and who was unrestrained in his praise saying:

“Barry Southon has shown me first-hand how Driver Buddy works to detect illegal migrants. The infrared cameras and CO2 monitors really are state of the art, they will catch illegal immigrants and stowaways virtually every time. The app also gives much-needed protection and confidence to drivers travelling through Calais that they can detect stowaways before making the crossing to Dover. I will keep making the case for more haulage companies to use Driver Buddy and the new App. It helps defend Dover from illegal migrants who seek enter Britain”.

Barry Southon himself is confident the system gives as good a protection as is possible given the exceptional circumstances which hauliers now find themselves in. He commented:

“Driver Buddy has been two years in development and the end product is exceptional. It won’t stop migrants climbing aboard but it will protect our men from fines and prosecution. What drivers and haulage companies will have is peace of mind that they won’t face legal recrimination if a migrant is found. They will have evidence that they have carried out the relevant statutory checks at the start of their journey and have on board monitoring in place to provide an added level of security."