Ice warning road studs trialled at hospital

Northern General Hospital in Sheffield is the first hospital in Europe to trial a new smart road stud that can warn drivers of potentially icy roads.

The PATeye Ice Detection system, which is the first in the world to use solar powered cats’ eyes-style road stud lighting to detect icy road temperatures, is to be trialled at the hospital’s main Barnsley Road site entrance from Friday 31 October 2014 to Tuesday 31 March 2015.

YESSS Electrical became the exclusive stockists of Solar Bright’s PATeye Detection system in January 2014 and has supplied Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust with a total of 10 temperature sensitive solar-powered studs. Once the road temperature drops to 0°C or below the blue LEDs in the stud start to flash – alerting drivers of the possibility of ice formation.

There are two versions of the stud – a direct replacement for the standard reflective stud and a snow-plough resistant version which is set into a core drilled hole.

The system will be used by the Trust in conjunction with the Met Office Open Road weather forecast information systems to make an informed decision regarding the amount of salt to be spread on the road.

Dean Ward, branch manager of YESSS Electrical in Sheffield North, said: “There has been a huge increase in the number of weather related incidents over the last couple of years, which puts a great deal of pressure on hospitals. Hospitals not only have to treat those injured, they have to ensure hospital staff and patients are able to access the hospital safely in adverse weather conditions. We identified Northern General Hospital as perfect location to really put PATeye’s capabilities to the test.”

Roger Bowen (pictured), senior estates manager for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “We are delighted to be offering this ground breaking cost-effective technology to hospital visitors and patients. Winter is one of our busiest times of the year, and severe temperatures can impact on patient safety so improving visual awareness when road temperatures drop to freeze or below will help alert ambulance crews and other drivers of treacherous icy road surface temperatures. This will help us put preventative measures in place as quickly as possible and better assist with overall site safety.”

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