Fleet News

Weak safety policies put drivers at risk

A NUMBER of fleets have been identified as having weak road safety policies that could be putting their drivers at risk.

Only 18 out of 251 companies questioned for a study had carried out fleet risk assessments as recommended in the Health and Safety Executive’s guidelines on managing at-work road safety.

It says the major omission involves the estimated four million employees who drive on business but who do not receive a company car or a cash allowance.

A quarter of firms admitted they did not include such employees in their road safety procedures, creating what report author Alphabet calls a ‘safety black hole’.

More positive is the fact that company boardrooms appear to be taking fleet issues more seriously, compared to its 2005 report.

But worryingly, of 550 business drivers quizzed, eight out of 10 admit company policies have no effect on their behaviour behind the wheel, including their use of mobile phones when driving.

Alphabet commercial director Richard Schooling said: ‘Businesses still have much work to do to turn policies and promises into practical action steps that will increase safety and cut costs.’

The findings are the latest to come from Alphabet’s Risk and Reward survey 2007. The same report revealed that more and more fleets are turning away from cash alternatives and returning to company car schemes (Fleet News, February 15).

Alphabet advice

  • Ensure that safety policies are fully implemented, with all drivers required to sign documents and then monitored to ensure they obey their employer’s safety rules.
  • Review their processes for safety-checks on ‘out of scheme’ drivers urgently to make sure no employees fall outside the safety net when they drive on business.
  • Make positive interventions, such as driver training, risk assessments and licence/insurance/vehicle checks to achieve targeted returns on investment through reduced costs of accidents, damage, fuel consumption, wear and tear.
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