TGWU national secretary Danny Bryan told delegates at the Health and Safety Commission's At Work Road Safety Conference that the UK's failure to support European rules on the maximum working week had serious implications for all employees who drive as part of their job. The warning came after the TUC called for tougher action by companies to cut the death toll on roads in the UK in its report 'Driven to Death'. The TGWU has lobbied for the European working time directive to be applicable in the UK for all people who drive as part of their job, and Bryan said the Government should be taking a lead.
He told the conference which was discussing the Work-related Road safety Task group's 'Preventing at-work road traffic incidents': 'The Government's role is crucial and it has the ability to make a major difference. But our Government would not support the working time directive because it could not get an opt out. This means certain drivers can opt out of safety.
'Company car drivers are not professional drivers but some drive more than 50,000 miles a year, and are not covered by regulations. Current legislation has regulations for goods vehicles, but not for anything else. Drivers have to be responsible for their own safety and the safety of others. The working time directive is not fully applicable in the transport industry and we have been lobbying the Government on this issue.'