Fleet News

Fleets urged to fit black boxes now

CAR and van fleet operators are being urged to follow the Metropolitan police lead and fit data recorders to their vehicles now rather than wait for manufacturers to offer them as options.

Installation of 'black boxes' as original equipment in mainstream cars is estimated to be at least three years away, but the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents believes universal adoption could be brought forward if fleets fuelled demand.

Dave Rogers, RoSPA's says people driving as part of their job are likely to be linked with nearly a quarter of Britain's road fatalities, and has long campaigned - as has road safety organisation Brake - to have 'spies in the cab' systems fitted to fleet cars.

Most car manufacturers have trialled or are developing recorder systems as part of safety improvements, but none has so far announced a full production launch date.

Hi-tech products already on the market allow fleet managers to assess employees' driving skills, taking into account speed, braking and cornering. Any problems with driving style can be spotted on the black box read-out and measures, such as appropriate training, used to correct them.

'Every journey should be managed, and black boxes will assist in achieving that goal,' said Rogers. 'This is an issue fleets should be considering now, not later.'

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