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Chris Hanson-Abbott receives OBE

Chris Hanson-Abbott OBE

Chairman and founder of Brigade Electronics recognized for services to vehicle road safety

CHRIS Hanson-Abbott, chairman of Brigade Electronics, has been awarded an OBE for his services to vehicle road safety in The Queen’s 2014 Birthday Honours list.

Mr Hanson-Abbott (pictured) formed Brigade Electronics in 1976 after being inspired by a beeping sound he heard emanating from the rear of a small truck on a street in Tokyo. At the time reversing safety had not been addressed outside Japan, but with the Health & Safety at Work Act recently passed into UK law and vehicles already accounting for a vast number of fatalities, he felt it was time for change.

With support from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Brigade launched their first reversing alarm at the 1976 Commercial Vehicle show in London, and Mr Hanson-Abbott has continued his quest to improve vehicle safety ever since.

‘It is a true honour to be awarded such a prestigious award,’ he said. ‘It defies belief that, until I launched my crusade to eradicate a quarter of all motoring fatalities, there was absolutely nothing available to assist a driver to reverse safely, nor to warn the unseen pedestrian behind a vehicle that it was being driven blindly. And I was from outside the industry, professionally a City shipbroker! Nearly 40 years later, we are continuing to develop new products to help improve road safety within the UK and throughout the world.’

Brigade’s latest product, Backeye 360, uses four cameras and a monitor to create a real-time ‘birds-eye view’ of the surrounding area of a vehicle. It is designed to assist low-speed manoeuvrability, reduce collisions and repair costs, and, ultimately, save lives.

Backeye 360 will be on show at Hillhead 2014, which takes place next week (24–26 June) at Hillhead Quarry, near Buxton, Derbyshire, where Brigade Electronics will have their own demonstration vehicle fitted with the latest camera/monitor products, ultrasonic sensors for side detection, and the bbs-tek White Sound reversing/movement alarm.

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