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LETTERS to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

I WRITE regarding your recent feature on telematics (Fleet News, September 14) and the article ‘Speeding drivers blame employers’ (Fleet News, September 21).

These two subjects really need to be considered in line with the HSE guide Driving at Work –Managing Work Related Road Safety, which advises monitoring of driving activity, and the protection of employees’ privacy when not at work.

The solutions you detailed in the telematics feature were fundamentally live tracking systems. Fleet managers have been over- burdened with sales calls from providers of online tracking. The vast majority of those we talk to (we have met more than 200) will not support such a proposal.

Monitoring does not mean tracking – this can be achieved, automatically, by less adversarial means. An example of this is a mileage recapture system. These packages address the HSE guide, provide HMRC compliance, remove the burden of written reports and make the whole experience for drivers and administrators considerably more efficient while still protecting an individual’s privacy. A number of large and small fleets have already adopted such a system.

I agree that live vehicle tracking has a major role, while providing significant savings, in the light commercial and service delivery segments.

However, the white-collar, driving-at-work market has its own specific requirements, driven by the need only to capture the distance of private trips. It is most important that fleet managers are aware that these requirements can be met by commercial off-the- shelf solutions.

SIMON HARRIS
FleetConsult

A flimsy excuse for speeding ...

I READ with interest the article ‘Speeding drivers blame employers’ (Fleet News, September 21).

My job as a sales manager is to motivate my team into being profitable, just as it is every other sales manager’s job to do so.

I would never encourage any of my team to put their foot down in order to achieve their targets and I would find it implausible for any employee hoping to be exonerated for such a flimsy excuse.

I always express concerns for my team as I have much experience myself in career driving. I would recommend to any of my team that when tiredness affects them, it is time to pull over and rest for a short while.

This is a convenient excuse for the plain fact that they were just speeding. I wonder how many employees blame their employers for keeping them late at work when in fact they are some place they shouldn’t be.

KEITH HILTON
By email

... and an old chestnut at that

AFTER reading the article ‘Speeding drivers blame employers’ (Fleet News, September 21), I recall using that old chestnut 15 years ago. At the time, the officer replied: ‘Better late in this world than early in the next’.

When is it ever our fault? I would agree we are all under pressure, but the increasing growth of legislation outlining our duty of care to our employees makes this claim lame.

Surely there can only be only a small minority of company directors who do not issue guidance to their drivers with reference to their obligation to comply with the law. Feel free to disagree, but at least be honest.

CHRIS ELDRED
European regional manager, Technology Services

My fears over MoT proposals

WHAT concerns me is the rationale behind the proposals in the article ‘MoT moves bring unsafe car fears’ (Fleet News, September 14).

Have they thoroughly considered the safety and duty-of-care implications for high-mileage vehicles?

Some of our vehicles do the equivalent of five years’ motoring in less than 12 months. If we are re-evaluating MoTs, surely any new system should incorporate mileage and take into consideration whether vehicles have been serviced following manufacturers’ guidelines.

GEORGE REID
Head of technical services, Lloyds TSB autolease

X marks the dipstick spot

WITH regard to the letter from Mr I Taylor, of S & J Motor Repairs, regarding his problems in getting his wife’s Mazda6 repaired (Fleet News, September 14), the X level on the dipstick occurs on diesel cars that have a diesel particulate filter. I would be very happy to fully explain this to Mr Taylor.

JEFF EDGAR
Mazda Motors UK

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