New safety alarm will keep the peace

PIANISSIMO is the composer s order for a Sawtry company that delivers pianos throughout the UK and continental Europe. Butler Piano Movers Limited can now reverse up to clients premises without disturbing the neighbours, thanks to an eco-friendly new rev

PIANISSIMO is the composer's order for a Sawtry company that delivers pianos throughout the UK and continental Europe.

Butler Piano Movers Limited can now reverse up to clients' premises without disturbing the neighbours, thanks to an eco-friendly new reversing alarm it won for one of its vehicles in a competition run by Huntingdonshire District Council and the Noise Abatement Society (NAS).

If the device catches on, it could herald an end to the irritating sound of large vehicles in reverse gear - a nuisance with a single vehicle, but a cacophonous misery for people in or near building sites and company yards.

The new device comes from Brigade Electronics, a Kent company specialising in reversing safety devices for lorries, construction plant, forklift trucks, refuse vehicles, buses and motor homes.


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Butler Piano Movers Limited, which carries up to 300 instruments a week in its five vehicles, was one company that expressed an interest in the broadband device during noise abatement week in the spring. And its name came out of the hat for the NAS-sponsored trial.

Managing director Steve Butler - pictured (centre) with Henry Morgan of Brigade Electronics and Gloria Elliott from the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) - said: "It was amazing to find that, while the alarm is much quieter than conventional reversing alarms, as soon as it is switched on you can immediately locate the precise direction the noise is coming from.

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"I can see this modern piece of equipment playing a major part in road safety, as well as reducing noise pollution."

Unlike conventional single tone alarms, the bbs-tek alarm uses a pleasant multi-frequency (broadband) sound instead of the single frequency sound of other reversing alarms. Broadband sound is instantly locatable. This enables people in the danger zone to pinpoint where the sound is coming from, which is beneficial in busy locations, such as loading bays and lorry parks, where confusion may occur over which vehicle is reversing. The non-strident sound is equally effective at 5dB(A), lower than conventional alarms.

Gloria Elliott, from NAS, said: "One of the largest sources of bitter complaint we receive is the irritating disturbance caused by the piercing invasive, 24/7 noise of reversing alarms currently fitted as standard on commercial delivery vans, dustbin lorries and other service vehicles. Everybody is affected but accepts it as part of the cacophony of urban street life we are forced to put up with as part of the price of progress."

HDC is trialling a broadband alarm on its 24/7 CCTV vehicle, which patrols the streets at night.

Councillor Mike Simpson, deputy leader of Huntingdonshire District Council, was impressed by the effectiveness of the broadband alarm. "It is clear this technology can contribute to traffic safety and help reduce environmental noise.

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