Fleet News

Adviser dismisses need for fleet driver training

A TOP adviser to the Government on road safety claims fleets don't need to adopt compulsory driver training, despite company car drivers being twice as likely as private motorists to kill or be killed in a road accident. Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, said measures outlined in the Government's own road safety strategy, along with passive risk management procedures and new accident claims management rules for fleets introduced last April as a result of the Woolf Reforms, were enough to meet the target of cutting Britain's annual road death toll of 3,500 by 40% in 10 years.

The Government's long-awaited strategy 'Tomorrow's Roads - Safer for Everyone' - which Gifford helped to compile - has already been attacked by the fleet industry as 'gutless'. It calls for 20mph speed limits near schools and residential areas, more speed cameras, tougher penalties for drivers breaking the law, extra powers for police to deal with suspected drink-drivers, and safer road design. Gifford said: 'We already have a package of measures for companies such as keeping records of accidents and analysing these and talking with the drivers involved. With these we don't need to have compulsory training for drivers.'

He said that if fleet managers took responsibility for their drivers' safety by keeping an appropriate route schedule and not put drivers in a position where people have to break speed limits, the need for driver training lessens considerably. The Opposition also voiced its doubts about the validity of driver training and Anne McIntosh, Conservative MP and member of the transport select committee said: 'I don't see how driver training can work in isolation. You need sanctions and I want company car drivers to pay for their insurance cover.'

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