A local inventor has come up with an inspired product, which puts the brakes on getting fined.
Lisburn man Harry Connor found a niche in the market for an invention that allows drivers to check their own brake lights without relying on someone else.
Harry identified the gap for this product while working as a self-employed diesel fitter. “I often got frustrated waiting for someone to come along to help me check if the brake lights were working on a lorry,” he says. “It was just over a year ago I decided enough was enough and I designed the ‘Extra Foot’ and got a prototype made.
“I was put in touch with South Eastern Regional College [SERC] through the Lisburn Innovation Networks Programme. It was able to help me with aspects of my new business, including the brand identity and my logo. Then the product came alive and it has gone from strength to strength.”
Harry said that while the Extra Foot has been very popular in the haulage industry, he has had a lot of interest from ordinary motorists. “The Extra Foot has been well received by transport managers across Northern Ireland. They find that by supplying their drivers with this device, it saves them quite large sums of money in fines relating to broken brake lights.”
Haulage company transport manager Mark McAlinden, of Silverwood Galvanisers, has estimated that he saves approximately £6,000 per annum by implementing the use of the Extra Foot.
“Up until now, my drivers have been reliant on each other to check lights on our articulated lorries,” he says. “I reckon that the time savings and cost savings [on DVA fines] has helped me to make my business more efficient.”