Fleet News

Vans targeted in safety campaign

VAN drivers are being targeted in a new safety campaign which aims to share best practice among the industry.

Called ‘Driving For Better Business’, it was launched at the CV Show at the NEC in Birmingham last week. The new campaign is being organised by RoadSafe, the partnership of companies in the motor and transport industries, and is being backed by Mercedes-Benz and Tesco.

The new initiative features a series of business champions who will form a network of employers promoting good practice in road safety and spreading the word to other fleets about the benefits.

The campaign starts in September and will run until 2009, initially targeting drivers of sub 3.5-tonne gvw vans.

Statistics show that 150 vehicles are involved in crashes while on work-related journeys every day.

Adrian Walsh, RoadSafe director, said: ‘Given the explosion in demand for van drivers as a result of the boom in internet shopping, it is important that employers focus on driving ability and do not simply assume that being in possession of a driving licence is a guarantee of ability.

‘We believe our business champions strategy will result in a dramatic increase in the number of companies that adopt effective work-related road safety policies.’

The campaign was launched on the Mercedes-Benz stand, where the firm showed off a new Sprinter Safety Van.

Also on the stand were two representatives of Chelmsford Electrical in Essex, which has already adopted a safety strategy.

Company secretary Peter Locke said: ‘We have seen a significant drop in the cost of accidents and great savings in insurance. Our 46 vans were costing £40,000 a year in crashes and this has dropped to £4,100 after the first year. Our insurance premiums have dropped from £1,100 per vehicle to £483.’

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