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Letters to Fleet News editor Martyn Moore.

All business users will pay more

It’s not only lease costs that are set to rise under the new tax proposals from the Treasury (Fleet News, May 24).

All business cars will be affected irrespective of how they are funded.

So whether you buy your vehicles outright, whether you buy them via a funded method or whether you lease or contract hire them, costs, if these proposals are brought in, will rise.

And they will rise at the same level for every single company in the UK that operates business cars.

This is not an issue that is going to be simple or easy to change but the BVRLA is continuing its dialogue with government ministers and senior Treasury officials to provide an understanding of the market impact of their proposals, which currently seems to be totally lacking, along with bringing reason and common sense to the issue.

Head of communications, British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association

Time to speak up on Road Safety Act

News that the government will listen and react to our views on the new Road Safety Act, as reported from the Risk in Fleet Conference (Fleet News, May 24), is to be welcomed.

For too long we have had various rules and regulations imposed on us without any thought for how it will affect our working lives. It is only when these laws have been passed that we suddenly find a voice and start moaning.

But now we have a chance to make our voices heard and actually have some input on new legislation.

The chance for us to shape government policy on issues such as drink-driving, speeding and driver penalties should be grasped with both hands.

If enough of us are involved, the more chance there is that it will ultimately make our lives easier.

via email

Cameras and signs create driver stress

LeasePlan’s figures suggesting that more drivers than ever are being fined for traffic offences such as jumping red lights and stopping in yellow box junctions isn’t very surprising with all the cameras about now.

Is there anywhere in Britain you can go and not be under the gaze of one sort of camera or another?

The problem is that driving isn’t an exact science and generally most drivers aren’t deliberately trying to make mistakes. When they make small errors of judgement they run the risk of getting penalised for each transgression, no matter how inconsequential.

It makes drivers feel like they are being hunted, and are constantly under the spotlight. Everywhere you go there are more signs, directions and orders for what to do on the road.

As a result driving becomes more stressful as you try to take in all the information, which leads to more mistakes.

That makes the government think we need more regulations, which in turn makes the situation worse. It’s a vicious circle.

It’s time to let drivers think for themselves and not overload them with information. They will be able to think more clearly, and will be better and safer for it.

via email

Better road behaviour? That’s a job for uniform

I am not surprised to read that traffic offences are on the rise among company car drivers (Fleet News, May 24).

I am forever seeing drivers stopping in hatched areas and speeding up to dash through red lights just as they change.

The reliance on technology to catch offenders – and the perceived reduction of traffic police on the streets – means that more of them think they can get away with such indiscretions.

It seems that warning signs and cameras just aren’t a visible enough deterrent for many drivers. As a fleet manager I have to deal with increasing numbers of tickets and when I talk to the drivers they all say they thought they could get away with it.

They don’t regard it as serious.

Training drivers is all well and good and should be encouraged to raise awareness of the dangers of light jumping and so on.

But unless there is an increased presence of uniformed officers on the streets the temptation to bend the rules will remain.

via email

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