Fleet News

Government wants fleets for safety experiment

THE Government is asking fleets to get involved in a year-long evaluation programme that will eventually see it set out its definitive position on work-related road safety.

As exclusively revealed on Fleet NewsNet in December, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) are putting together a CD-ROM that covers all aspects of at-work road safety.

As a starting point, they have produced a pilot version of the CD but are now looking for fleets – possibly as many as 60 or more – to sign up for the evaluation programme.

Those that sign up will get a visit from a TRL researcher at the start of the programme, who will want to speak to fleet and health and safety managers, senior management and drivers. Then, after 12 months following the plan, the researcher will visit again to appraise how effective it has been in improving at-work road safety.

TRL is looking for a wide spread of participants: small, medium and large fleets, both public and private, car and van, or both.

Andrew Burr, head of driver safety at the DfT, said: ‘We are very keen that this should be robustly tested. We need to find out what its impact on the workplace will be – it must pass the credibility test.’

TRL lead researcher Britta Lang is leading the project team that will be screening potential fleets for the evaluation which is likely to start towards the middle of the summer. She claimed that the length of the programme and the detail being put into it illustrates just how seriously the DfT is now taking work-related road safety.

Lang said: ‘The Department for Transport really feels very strongly that it must put the very best guidance it can in place. Currently there is a strong focus of attention at the DfT on work-related road safety – not only this CD-ROM but also the three-year Think! campaign about it.’

The CD-ROM contains advice on how to create or revise a work-related road safety system, key points to persuade senior management, compelling statistics and case studies. There are also ‘model’ forms for areas such as incident reporting and vehicle inspections as well as advice on how to record data.

That the DfT is now so active in work-related road safety illustrates a shift away from the Health and Safety Executive as the lead Government organisation on the subject.

The HSE has always claimed it does not have the resources to tackle such a large issue.

Instead, the HSE’s focus in future will be on workplace transport, such as safety in delivery depots. It is working on a ‘route map’, including a consultation which will go public in June or July.

  • To apply to be one of the evaluated fleets email: blang@trl.co.uk
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