An increasing number of companies now have regional fleet managers reporting into a central national manager.
This trend has been noted by fleet software company cfc solutions and is in response, the company believes, to the Health and Safety Executive's Driving at Work report, which warns that managers and directors are legally responsible for safety standards.
cfc solutions managing director Jason Francis said: 'The issue is one of tracking responsibility. If a company runs a fleet on a decentralised basis either along regional or divisional lines, as has been the trend in recent years, then it is very difficult to implement the measures made necessary by the HSE guidelines.
'However, a traditional hierarchical management structure with a number of junior fleet managers reporting into a central senior manager, makes the lines of responsibility very clear indeed. This is something that we have seen a couple of major customers adopt as a direct result of the Driving at Work report.'
Francis said the HSE report had brought the issue of potential individual ability to the forefront for fleets.
He added: 'If fleet managers and their directors don't implement the contents of the report properly and there is an accident on their fleet for which they can be shown to be at fault, they could go to prison. It's a serious issue and having a hierarchical structure simplifies the lines of managerial responsibility.'