Fleet News

Fleets at forefront of DfT safety push

THE Department for Transport (DfT) is planning a massive information and advertising campaign on work-related road safety.

It is currently putting together its CD-Rom for at-work driving, exclusively revealed in Fleet News in January, and will be trialling the disc with around 30 fleets in the coming weeks. The CD-Rom will contain examples of best practice and advice for fleets on-road safety.

By the summer, the department also intends to have launched a driving-for-work website, aimed at both company car drivers and fleet managers, highlighting risk.

Speaking at the Safer Roads: Safer Drivers conference, hosted by the Institute of Advanced Motorists last week, Road Safety Minister Stephen Ladyman revealed that there will be a wide-ranging Think! advertising campaign on the dangers of at-work driving this year, although DfT sources say the exact details of how this will be targeted have yet to be formalised.

Speaking at the conference, Ladyman said there was a ‘climate of indifference’ among some UK employers to drivers’ safety on the road, and with speeding in particular. He told road safety experts that he was willing to strike a deal with the motoring public if they can be persuaded to take responsibility for their actions on the road, a change of attitude in which business needs to play a part.

He told delegates: ‘We have to win drivers over to understand there is no such thing as safe speed. Surveys have shown that some people think driving at 40mph in a 30mph zone is more acceptable than dropping litter, but I would rather see a sweet wrapper on the street than a dead child.’

Ladyman said the deal meant he would not simply sanction growth of safety cameras, but that had to be balanced by drivers taking responsibility for their actions on the roads.

He said: ‘In the same way as drink driving, there needs to be a sense of shame for speeders. This is particularly true for company car drivers who spend a lot of time on the road and face additional work pressures of meeting targets and keeping in touch of the office.

‘All employers have a duty of care to their employees even when not in the workplace and that includes setting schedules that allow for safe driving.

‘But in some surveys more than half of drivers say they receive no guidance from their employers. This culture of indifference has to stop.’

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