“One of the main reasons for implementing these policies was to drive down our accident rate. It has achieved just that.”
Nasr adds that Thames Water is also looking at introducing a damage recharge policy for its fleet of vans which is likely to be finalised over the next three months following union consultation.
She says: “We are always looking at whether the policies which we have in place suit our needs appropriately.
“We need to make a decision about whether we want every bit of damage reporting to our insurers, Catlin, and then to our accident management company, FMG, which could ultimately have a knock-on impact on our premiums.
“Or does it make more sense for us to simply get that damage repaired ourselves?
“We intend to keep on reviewing our policies to ensure that what we have in place is right for our employees and the company.”
To incentivise or not to incentivise...
Incentivising drivers is a time-honoured way of driving down costs linked to damage while simultaneously promoting a culture of safe driving across a company’s vehicle fleet.
When it comes to damage recharges, possibly the most obvious way that employees are ‘incentivised’ is by the knowledge that that they will see money deducted from their salary in the event of an own-fault accident.
But this approach will never be right for all fleet managers and some find that training and support is the best kind of incentive.
Tracey Scarr, fleet and road safety manager at vehicle leasing company Arval, says: “Where a driver is involved in repeat at-fault incidents, we do request a small driver contribution in relation to the repair costs.
“While the best approach will vary depending on the make-up of a fleet, at Arval we focus on the safety culture rather than a specific carrot or stick approach.
“We invest in ongoing programmes of communication, training and engagement to influence driver attitudes and behaviours over the long-term.
“Through post-crash investigations, and specifically a one-to-one interview, we can understand if our driver was at fault and whether further education and driver training is required for the individual.”