Fleet News

Safety strategy steers clear of direct action

THE Government's road safety strategy is big on talk and small on direct action. None of the threatened shocks to the fleet industry which safety campaigners had long been campaigning for in an attempt to cut the unacceptably high accident rates among company car drivers have materialised. The 84-page document 'Tomorrow's roads; safer for everyone has taken two years to produce since a review of Government speed policy launched at the end of 1998, and concentrates on the need for further debate.

For example a Highway Code for fleet drivers is suggested - but only as a 'point for discussion'. The key elements of the strategy towards fleet safety revolves around the expected involvement of the Health and Safety Executive, the creation of an inter-agency working group and the dovetailing of road traffic law with health and safety at work law and the enforcement of each. In recognising the increased frequency of company car accidents over private cars, the strategy says: 'We want to consider how best to prevent these incidents by building upon recent initiatives and campaigns aimed at improving the management of work-related journeys. The Health and Safety Commission has therefore agreed with ministers that an inter-agency task group is set up.'

The agency's mandate would be to:

  • Establish accurate casualty and incident statistics for work-related activities on or near roads.
  • Establish the main causes and methods of preventing work-related road incidents.
  • Promote a public debate on best practice in relation to prevention of work-related road incidents.
  • Agree minimum standards for employers and others in managing the road safety implications of work-related journeys.
  • Propose mechanisms that will help dovetail road traffic law and its enforcement with health and safety at work law.
  • Propose mechanisms for effective liaison between those who enforce road traffic law and those who enforce health and safety at work law.

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