Fleet News

It's time to put safety first

A NATIONAL league table of companies' driver safety standards is being proposed by the Driving Standards Agency. This will give businesses their first chance to 'benchmark' their fleet accident records against organisations of a similar profile and thereby recognise the importance of a risk management strategy.

The move is part of a major initiative which unites the Government, police and driver training organisations aimed at bringing about a 'revolution' in the way risk management is perceived and adopted by companies. Driven by widespread apathy in the corporate sector to tackle UK fleets' appalling accident record the DSA has been charged by ministers to pull together a wide-ranging number of agencies and authorities to push fleet safety to the top of company agendas.

Initiatives planned include the benchmarking of fleets to enable like-for-like comparisons of accident rates, the establishment of a common driver training syllabus, instructor accreditation and educational programmes to ensure risk management becomes a permanent and widely recognised part of company culture. The first step in changing attitudes was at meeting chaired by the DSA with representatives from the Fleet Driver Training Association, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Approved Driving Instructor's national joint council, local authority road safety departments and driver training organisations. In the next few months the DSA plans to establish a steering group to develop strategies.

DSA chief executive Bernard Herdan said: 'It is quite clear that simply sending drivers on training courses is not the solution. We need to look wider, at what is causing the road accidents. It is not just people's driving habits, but the way their time is managed, their attitudes to driving and the way safety is perceived in the company.' However, the DSA understands the widely recognised problem of the overall lack of information collected in-house by companies. It would like to hear from companies prepared to contribute data for its accident management benchmarking system. For details phone 0115 901 2981.

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