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Improving road safety with multilingual roadworks signs


Rennicks is extremely proud to be an integral part of a new multilingual roadworks project, improving road safety for foreign truck drivers.

Improving road safety with multilingual roadworks signs


Rennicks is extremely proud to be an integral part of a new multilingual roadworks project, improving road safety for foreign truck drivers.

Improving road safety with multilingual roadworks signs


Date: 29th August 2019

Rennicks is extremely proud to be an integral part of a new multilingual roadworks project, improving road safety for foreign truck drivers. Crucial road warnings from Highways England are displayed on Rennicks’ Mobile Variable Message Sign (MVMS) units in one of nine available languages; German, French, Polish, Romanian, Dutch, Spanish, Lithuanian, Slovak or Hungarian. The ground-breaking technology works via an automatic number plate reader in the side of the road. ANPR cameras from our partner, VPS Security Solutions, identify the nationality of the vehicle. When a foreign lorry is approaching, our Mobile VMS units are prompted to display the message in the appropriate language.

Road user watchdog Transport Focus worked closely with Highway England’s staff in Cumbria along the A66 last year which was used as a case study of how roadworks could be better planned and communicated. Highways England senior project manager Steve Mason outlined how foreign lorry drivers were missing some of the messaging, causing inconvenience – which Highways England have now taken on board to tailor the messaging for the lorry drivers.

It is the first time in the UK that international truck drivers have been helped in this way. The multilingual technology is currently being piloted in Cumbria near the £7 million investment taking place along the M6 north of Carlisle, servicing a roundabout at junction 44. The pilot project is being supported by specialist supplier and traffic management company, HW Martin.

Drivers are being informed in multiple languages that the roundabout has closed for overnight improvements. If the nationality of the driver is Spanish, the sign would display ‘M6 J.44 Cerrado’.

Managing director of Rennicks, Ross Bullerwell, said, “This collaboration between VPS and Rennicks was driven by real data which demonstrated a clear need to communicate more effectively with international drivers on UK roads. It’s so important to innovate, based on real client demands, so that tailored responses are designed to meet a specific outcome rather than “shoe-horn” best fit technology to overcome the problem.”

Rennicks’ technology allows these messages to be conveyed clearly to drivers, keeping all road users informed and safe. With the growing number of international HGV drivers, there is a clear need for them to be informed of vital information on the roads. Steve Minnikin, an Inspector from Cumbria Police, said it should allow more time for drivers to reschedule their journeys – reducing the risk of them taking inappropriate diversions, causing inconvenience and delays to both their journeys and local communities.

Rennicks are pleased the MVMS signs are being used in such an innovative way and we hope to see this technology continue to be implemented across the country.

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“This collaboration between VPS and Rennicks was driven by real data which demonstrated a clear need to communicate more effectively with international drivers on UK roads. It’s so important to innovate, based on real client demands, so that tailored responses are designed to meet a specific outcome rather than ‘shoe-horn’ best fit technology to overcome the problem.” Ross Bullerwell, Managing Director at Rennicks

About Featured Products

Mobile VMS

On the UK busy road network Rennicks understand that drivers have to absorb a huge amount of information, often in a short space of time. We therefore ensure all our signs confirm to the latest standards TAL 01/15 & EN12966 and offer high density LEDs for clear, concise and dynamic messages.

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ANPR Camera mounted on Alert Tower from our Partner VPS

For this scheme, the ANPR cameras are mounted on VPS alert towers for quick deployment. Once the ANPR captures the appropriate number plate information, this then automatically activates the Variable Message Sign (VMS), provided by Rennicks, to display the appropriate safety message, in turn warning the affected drivers of any issues ahead.

For a more permanent solution, the Rennicks Off-Grid Power Solution can be used to host ANPR cameras.

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