Fleet News

Call on government to safeguard drivers

COMPANY car drivers have been ideintified as one of the three most at-risk groups on the road and should be targeted as part of a major campaign to improve safety, the government has been told.

In a report on road-user behaviour commissioned by the Motorists Forum, which advises the government on policy proposals affecting motorists, at-work drivers are highlighted as a group in need of attention. Motorcyclists and young people are also at risk, it adds.

The report, Better Driving: Respect on the Road, says: ‘It is estimated that there are about 1,000 deaths on UK roads each year involving people who were at work at the time, with a further 13,000 seriously injured.

‘Between one-quarter and one-third of all road accidents involve someone who was working.

‘Employees who drive more than 25,000 miles a year have at least a one in 8,000 chance of dying behind the wheel of their company vehicle – a risk similar to that of miners dying at the coal face – and 65% of all company vehicles typically will be involved in an incident during a year.’

It suggests the government could tackle the problem by reviewing the basic driving test and training and retesting.

For fleets, the report recommends: ‘For those who drive as part of their work, employers should be encouraged to have a health and safety policy dealing with the risks of work-related driving in place.

‘There should be a top-level commitment to work-related road safety and adequate systems in place to carry out risk assessments, deliver training and monitor performance to ensure that a work-related road safety policy is effective.’

The forum also calls on the Department for Transport and the Home Office to carry out a study on the cost-effectiveness of increasing the resources devoted to road policing.

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