BIN lorries in West Dunbartonshire have become the first in the UK to use safety technology that allows vehicles to be brought to a controlled stop in an emergency situation.

The VT StopSafe system allows crew members to safely slow down and stop the vehicle if the driver loses control for any reason.

When the system is activated, it limits the vehicle engine revs from the accelerator pedal and uses braking pulses to bring the vehicle to a halt in seconds – meaning the vehicle won’t swerve, skid or lock up.

Once activated, alarms sound from the vehicle to alert pedestrians to an approaching hazard.

Introduction of the new safer lorries comes after the tragic bin lorry accident which took place at George Square in December 2014, killing a Dumbarton couple and their granddaughter.

The safety feature has been installed in each of WDC’s 21 bin lorries, and all waste services staff have received training in operating the system.

Councillor Iain McLaren said: "I am fully supportive of any initiative that keeps our residents and our staff safe.

"I hope this gives peace of mind, not only to employees but also their families, that in an emergency, these vehicles can be brought to a safe stop."