Fleet News

Your chance to be a champion

A MAJOR government initiative launched this year to cut the number of road deaths involving at-work drivers is calling on the readers of Fleet News to volunteer themselves as ‘industry champions’.

The aim of the project is to create a ‘best practice communications programme’ drawing on the experiences of company directors and fleet decision-makers who have successful policies for company drivers.

Funded by the Department for Transport as part of a soon-to-be-launched Driving at Work campaign, it aims to raise road safety standards in the workplace and cut the number of road deaths involving people who were at work at the time.

Statistics published last month showed that a quarter of deaths on British roads involve at-work drivers, with 16 people dying and 117 seriously injured every week.

A network of ‘road safety at-work champions’, including company director and fleet executives, that have a proven record of promoting occupational road risk management in their businesses will be recruited by automotive industry-led charity RoadSafe.

Director Adrian Walsh said: ‘We’d be delighted to hear from Fleet News readers who have successful policies in place and recognise the benefits these bring to companies and the UK fleet industry. Initially, we’ll talk to them to ascertain what they might be able to bring to the project.

‘We are convinced that the best way to encourage companies of all size and operating in all sectors of business to improve occupational road risk management and reduce the number of crashes involving at-work drivers is to highlight business ‘champions’ who are prepared to carry the torch and persuade other organisations to follow their lead.’

Although plans for these ‘champions’ have not yet been finalised, Walsh is keen to hear from fleet managers who would be prepared to stand up and share their experiences.

‘Programme support will include identifying and highlighting best practice case studies, preparing presentation material, identifying speaking opportunities and liaising directly with trade associations, chambers of commerce and business associations,’ he added.

Speaking at a recent Best of the Best conference organised by road safety charity Brake, Mike Fawcett, head of Road User Safety Division at the Department for Transport, said: ‘We are developing an outreach programme which will identify heavyweight champions from within the fleet industry who can speak with real authority at company board level.’

Walsh said the benefits of successful at-work policies that encourage drivers to focus on getting to their destination are many and varied.

He added: ‘The benefits to staff, customers and individual companies will be numerous and profitability and productivity will increase.’

  • Fleet executives wanting to register their interesting as a champion can contact Caroline Scurr at RoadSafe after January 22 on 0207 344 1605 or email cscurr@roadsafe.com.

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