Fleet News

Driving policy protected fleet after fatal crash

A CLEAR driving policy ensured that a fleet avoided prosecution after one of its drivers was involved in a fatal crash.

Bill Pownall, motor risk manager for Norwich Union, speaking at the Fleet News risk management conference Double Jeopardy at Birmingham, told how an employer’s clear guidelines about mobile phone use ensured the company was absolved of responsibility.

‘Police were able to prove he was on his mobile phone,’ said Pownall. ‘But when his employer was able to produce a drivers’ handbook and demonstrate that induction, training, policies and procedures were subject to reviews and updates, the court decided the company had done everything that was reasonably practical to control the risk.’

Only the driver was prosecuted.

Pownall advised delegates that all companies with more than five employees need a health and safety policy with a road safety element. But the company car policy should be separate, as should the driving at work policy.

‘All three policies must be live,’ added Pownall. ‘You must be able to provide evidence that they are communicated, read, understood and regularly reviewed.’

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