Fleet News

Government boost to fleet driver training

THE Government's aim of having a greater say in fleet driver training to drastically reduce accidents through common standards and instructor accreditation is to take a major step forward next week. The Driving Standards Agency is to meet with fleet driver training groups and the police to begin work on the establishment of a single syllabus and agreeing the criteria by which trainers can achieve the state's stamp of approval.

The meeting comes after years of behind-the-scenes discussions between the DSA and the Fleet Driver Training Association and follows recent criticism by Roads Minister Lord Whitty of fleets' poor road safety record. He demanded a 20% cut in crashes involving company car drivers and called for an overhaul of the fleet industry to reduce by a fifth the 50,000 accidents company car drivers are involved in each year.

It was initially thought that the DSA was to become directly involved in driver training. This has been strongly denied and the emphasis now is on working with the FTDA, its membership and other agencies to establish a common driver training syllabus and accreditation.

The seminar will seek to establish a steering committee as a crucial stage towards this goal.

Jeff Pickering, assistant chief driving examiner for the DSA, said: 'Lord Whitty has taken the view that the DSA should be more involved in driver training. Now, while the DSA will not be providing training, it should establish a common training syllabus and accreditation of those offering it. We are looking to ensure that there is a uniform high standard of training available to all fleet drivers.'

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