Fleet News

New BT driver training campaign to slash £27 million accident bill

EUROPE'S largest fleet - BT - is launching a massive driver training campaign to halve its annual £27 million vehicle accident repair bill. The initiative, called 'Drivewise', follows a re-think among the telecommunication giant's safety experts who believe they can dramatically reduce the 20,000 accidents involving the company's 71,000-strong fleet of vehicles each year.

The real cost of these accidents is closer to £100 million when issues such as lost employee time, the need to hire replacement vehicles, and time spent handling claims are taken into account, according to BT's internal financial analysis.

BT's initiative has been applauded by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents as one of the most positive approaches to fleet driver training ever taken by a major company. Karl Wiegand, BT's chief safety officer, said the main focus of 'Drivewise' would be on drivers, and the campaign will see every BT driver assessed for the level of risk they pose behind the wheel.

Under the initiative drivers will be categorised into levels with separate 'Turning Point' courses depending on the drivers' risk level. Those drivers who have been involved in accidents will attend a training course administered by Peak Performance; while drivers assessed as 'a higher risk' will attend a skills based course run by Drive & Survive. BT's research shows that 20% of its drivers represent 80% of the risk, and that drivers who have been involved in accidents during one year are three times more likely than other drivers to have another accident in the following year.

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