IMPROVEMENTS in the safety and environmental impact of company cars must be actively encouraged by the Government as part of a seven-point transport action plan launched by the RAC. The 'RAC Report on Motoring - 2000' says: 'The Government should encourage companies to attach greater importance to fleet management with a view to improving employees' driving skills and their accident rates as well as reducing fuel consumption and harmful emissions from vehicles. Companies should conduct reviews of business travel needs and purchasing strategies and underpin fleet management with a thorough risk management strategy.'
The 80-page report also calls for:
- The appointment of an independent roads 'czar' to champion the interests of road users by monitoring and reporting on key policies and their effects including road, maintenance/management, investment in road building, safety strategies and the cost/benefit of road charging.
- Improvements in the standard of new drivers with the implication of travel also finding a place on the school curriculum.
- The extension of driver rectification schemes to motorists who have committed offences such as speeding, red light running, road-rage incidents and pedestrian crossing infringements.
- A review of speed limits.
- An education programme on the dangers of drug driving.
- Investment in school buses to end congestion through the school car run.
Commenting in the report on the twin evils of congestion and pollution, Transport Minister Lord Macdonald agreed that congestion was bad for drivers and bad for business. He added: 'With tougher regulation, targeted fiscal policies and improved technology we can reduce pollution in the years ahead. Business needs efficient and effective transport links. The Government is committed to modernising our transport systems to provide real choice. Britain in the 21st century needs a top class transport system to serve the British people and British companies.'