Fleet News

Safety campaigners call for 'black boxes' in cars

THE Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and road safety organisation Brake have called for aeroplane-style 'black boxes' to be fitted to company cars. They believe the 'spies in the cab' would help to combat the risk of under-pressure drivers clocking up 'ridiculous' hours behind the wheel to meet work deadlines.

The black boxes would also provide vital evidence on the number of accidents caused by exhausted drivers falling asleep at the wheel by monitoring speed, hours driven, braking and steering. Current estimates say that between 10% and 30% of fatal accidents could be fatigue related with a quarter of the country's 3,600 annual road deaths linked to drivers at work. The road safety pressure groups say black boxes could revolutionise accident rates among fleets.

Dave Rogers, road safety adviser for RoSPA, said: 'Too many bosses do not monitor the way their employees are driving and because of business pressures, this can lead to people driving too fast, too long and sometimes ignoring the safety of other road users. I would hope employers would start to fit black box recording equipment in their vehicles.'

Association of Car Fleet Operators director Stewart Whyte agreed that black boxes could bring safety, but said company car drivers should not be singled out for special attention. He added that black boxes needed to be installed in all cars, whether private or company-owned, to make any inroads into road safety.

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