Fleet News

Driver training: writing is on the wall

THE writing is on the wall for fleet operators who turn a blind eye to figures which reveal company car drivers have 50% more accidents than other drivers. However, it was claimed at the Fleet Show that fleet managers were beginning to react to the increasing calls - from Government, the Health and Safety Executive and the police, for companies to take driver training and risk management seriously.

RoSPA Driver Services says employers with a corporate road risk policy must accept that the basic driving test isn't enough to equip staff for driving. Kevin Birch, development manager driver services, said: 'The car is a place of work which is outside the remit of the HSE. If there was an accident and there was a chance the management could have done something to prevent it, they will be liable to prosecution.'

Defensive Driver Training's sales and marketing director Paul Beresford said: 'The Government's recently published Road Safety Strategy makes it plain that the day is coming when employers will be held responsible for the way their drivers behave on the road. At first sight this may appear unfair but when it is estimated that up to four people a day die while driving on company business, the concern can be understood.

'We see the day coming when a road traffic accident while on company business will be treated the same as a factory accident. Companies which implemented driver training programmes with us in 1992 have found that it pays for itself many times over. They have benefited from large falls in accident rates - 66% to 23% in one case. Far from being a burden, good risk management can save fleet operators time, money and maybe someone's life.'

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