New requirements for achieving accreditation in the Fleet Operator Recognition scheme (FORS), which puts renewed focus on eliminating blind spots, have been welcomed by Brigade Electronics.

Effective from 1 July, the voluntary scheme’s updated standards places emphasis on the offside blind spot, as well as containing guidance for right hand drive vehicles.

It recommends that operators now monitor front and offside blind spots after police research showed that 6% of all fatalities occur from vehicles turning right and 32% of accidents resulted from right hand side swipes.

FORS states that right hand drive vehicles are also now required to have an audible alert when turning right.

Brigade said the changes were a significant step forwards because previously the requirement was to protect vulnerable road users by focusing on a vehicle’s nearside.

Rigids over 7.5 tonnes have also been incorporated into the new guidelines and are now required to have a camera system that monitors the rear blind spot.

As well as these requirements, FORS is also asking operators at Silver level to fit cameras that are able to digitally record incidents and assist in driver training and development.

To achieve gold, fleet operators must undertake a review of the fleet operation to further improve environmental performance, road safety and efficiency.

Emily Hardy, Brigade UK marketing manager, said: “Fleet operators of all sizes must invest in road safety technology. Brigade recommends a combination of active and passive systems to alert the driver to threats in the vehicle's blind spot.

“Devices for indirect vision not only increase safety and effectiveness – saving lives – but they bring down insurance rates and expenditures related to vehicle damage.”