Called COSTS - Commercial Operators Safer Transport Scheme - it is aimed at saving lives and helping companies operating cars, vans, coaches and lorries to reduce their fleet accident costs. The new initiative follows pressure on fleets from Government, police forces and road safety organisations to introduce risk management strategies to reduce the accident toll involving company car drivers.
Inspector Steve Long, of Sussex Police traffic division, who devised the scheme, said: 'This is a complementary approach to law enforcement. The idea is to encourage fleet operators to take more responsibility for the management of their drivers and vehicles out on the road. We've called it COSTS to remind the fleet vehicle industry that road crashes make a real impact on both the direct and indirect costs to their business.'
From October 1 Sussex Police will send a letter to fleet operators whenever a vehicle owned by their company is stopped by officers in the county. The scheme will apply to all drivers issued with a fixed penalty notice, or reported for summons. If the vehicle is leased or hired, the police will send the contract hire or rental company, as the registered owner, a letter explaining that they can help with the road safety initiative by forwarding the letter to the user.