Fleet News

Government to consider driver safety report plans

TOUGH new proposals designed to reduce fleet accidents are to be presented to Government ministers after clearing a key official hurdle.

Officials from the Health and Safety Commission who met with civil servants agreed last Tuesday to pass the action plan to Transport Minister David Jamieson. It is expected to be presented to the Minister before the end of the month and he will then provide his response.

The recommendations are based on a Work-related Road Safety Task Group report, which provided an 18-point plan for improving fleet safety last year. It included a call for a get-tough policy from police on their treatment of accidents involving at-work drivers and an investigating an operator's licence for van fleets.

The report has also called for a 'rigorous application' of existing health and safety legislation to on-the-road work activities and said employers, based on a risk assessment of staff, should include measures to manage at-work road safety within their existing health and safety systems, while ensuring that employees are competent to drive for work.

The report was produced after claims that up to one-third of road deaths each year could involve at-work drivers.

A source at the task group said: 'Jamieson is the one with the power to say yes to the proposals. At this stage we don't want to give full details until we have been told what will happen.'

Earlier this month, road safety and business groups joined forces to push forward their own safety proposals, amid fears that Government attempts to deal with the problem could be shelved. They formed a new Occupational Road Safety Alliance, which represents organisations from all areas of road safety and industry.

Richard Dykes, who chaired the road safety group, told members of the alliance during a meeting to agree its formation that industry should take up the challenge itself.

Following the meeting, a steering group was formed and will discuss the future of the alliance at a later event, including establishing a website.

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