Fleet News

Fleets' 'complacent attitude' to driver safety must change

A GROWING mood of intolerance is developing towards 'sloppy management' of fleets which risks the lives of employees through a complacent attitude to safety. Mary Williams, director of road safety organisation Brake, which hosted the Managing Road Safety conference at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in London, said it was time for a change to the lack of interest many fleets show towards safety issues, including driver training.

A survey of fleets carried out by Fleet NewsNet sister publication Fleet News and Lex Vehicle Leasing found that fleet managers placed driver training 10th in their list of priorities, mainly behind financial imperatives including benefit-in-kind tax and residual values. But Williams said: 'The understanding that safety is essential for economic performance is paramount. Managers should be seriously worried that if they don't put safety first, they could face jail. There are so many solutions, from driver training to careful management of vehicle maintenance.'

An important addition to the growing demand for fleets to invest in the safety of drivers on the road has come through the Trades Union Congress, which backs 2,500 workplace personal injury cases every week. But senior policy officer Owen Tudor said: 'We accept it is not enough to say it is just the businesses' fault - drivers should be open to penalties as well. If there is an accident, you just need to find out who is responsible,' he said.

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