Fleet News

Police fleet cuts down on accidents the hi-tech way

ONE of the UK's blue light fleets has managed to slash its accident rate, despite a 22% increase in the size of its fleet.

Thames Valley Police (TVP) cut its accident rate over a five-year period with the help of new technology and an accident penalty points scheme.

The group's head of transport Ian Godolphin has introduced a number of accident prevention strategies since taking on the role five years ago. They include the introduction of a Tranman technology system to collect accident data.

He explained: 'We have more than 10,000 driver records on the system, and use it to benchmark performance, manage and print driver permits and analyse costs. Drivers with a number of minor accidents on their files are more likely to be involved in a serious accident.'

Examples of reports which can be produced on the system include one which shows the average cost of damage by pence per mile and one which breaks down the actual costs by individual drivers.

Godolphin has also introduced a driver points system. Each driver is given a driver permit which is marked with points if a driver has an accident in a company vehicle.

If a driver accrues 12 points within three years, he or she will be unable to drive a police vehicle for six months.

Godolphin said: 'Most fleet managers record accidents within their fleet software but not enough link them to the driver and proactively evaluate the risks. The points system is effective in reducing the number of accidents but it is the use of technology to identify those at risk and the ability to ensure adequate training is organised that really reduces the number of accidents and costs.

'If you include the costs of damage to people, property and the environment, the true cost of accidents can be higher than the total running costs of an average fleet and includes the real threat of being sent to prison.'

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