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Letters to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Experts will do the best job

I have recently been tasked with finding a supplier to manage our occupational road risk and I am staggered by the various responses I am getting.

I was advised to try our leasing provider, which is in the top five UK leasing companies and a very strong and well-known brand.

When approached, it could not provide a definite answer to the product it claimed to offer. I then found this to be true with around 10 well-known leasing companies. They all advertise they do it, they all talk about what should be done, but when it comes to it, they are all talk. One leasing company that claims to offer this to their staff has no programme in place.

In fact, one member of staff who is a high-mileage driver (in excess of 20,000 miles per year) has not had his licence checked by the company in five years and has yet to see a driver’s policy.

Is it now about time that leasing companies actually concentrated on leasing cars, software companies concentrated on software and occupational road risk providers did just that?

As an outsider to this industry, it appears that everyone has become an expert at everything and it’s hardly surprising that organisations such as ours are finding it difficult to get the right advice from so called experts.

I have since approached five occupational road risk providers who have all provided me with a solution to the issue and a clear path to follow to cover our duty-of-care issues.

I would say to anyone doing the same research, go with the experts rather than those who claim to do everything.

By email

Where do we stand on airbag issue?

I read with interest the article “Family friendly fleets make children a priority” (Fleet News, June 14).

However, it’s not just families who need to safeguard their children, but working mothers.

I recently had a call from a sales executive on maternity leave who wished to place her child seat in the recommended rear-facing seat in the front of the car.

As she has a company-issued Vauxhall Astra with a front airbag, she asked the garage to turn it off, which it refused to do.

It gave the reason that it could be held liable if someone was seated there in the case of an accident and it had not been reinstated.

Appealing to me, I had to quote our company handbook which states that child seats should be in the back. She resolved the situation by using her partner’s private vehicle.

Many parents drop their children off at child minders and nurseries before work, and carrying a small baby in a rear-facing seat in the back of the car is a worry.

Where do we stand on the airbag issue?

MARGARET MCKERROW
Fleet co-ordinator, TMS

Don’t blame lorries for traffic hold-ups

I read Michael Cooper’s letter “Action needed to cut lorry hold-ups”, (Fleet News, June 14) detailing the time he spends sat on the two-lane section of the M11.

He puts it down to lorries being governed for maximum speeds but as a transport manager who still holds a Class One licence, I feel that I should try and shed some light on the frustration that these drivers have to put up with.

First of all, I feel the standard of driving have gone downhill.

I believe this is partly down to the standards of the driving instructors and secondly the lack of knowledge of the Highway Code by the vast majority of drivers.

This then leads to the situation where they are on a dual carriageway in the outside lane doing 40mph with a lorry trying to pass.

If there is a car in the inside lane and a lorry then pulls out to overtake, often the car driver puts his foot down leaving the lorry stranded in the outside lane with nowhere to go.

A vast majority of lorry drivers do not speed and limiters were forced on to larger vehicles by a nanny state.

If the government had put just a bit more thought in when considering the introduction of these devices, then the situation that Mr Cooper finds himself in would never have happened.

The government was advised by the police that this would happen and they chose to ignore it.

So before everybody jumps on the bandwagon and wants lorries banned from the outside lane on two-lane carriageways, have a thought for the drivers.

IAN COLEMAN Transport manager, Arri Lighting Rental

RAC needs to find focus

Oh no, not another survey by the RAC that appears to play right into the hands of a government that is hell bent on persecuting the motorist. “UK roads are less safe now, say drivers” (Fleet News, June 14).

Drink-driving is an issue about drunks, drug-driving is an issue about druggies, so why on earth is it always treated as a driving issue? Because drivers are easy targets, that’s why.

If you are caught drink-driving (which I obviously deplore), do they ban you from drinking? No.

Just think of the lost revenue from tax. You see matrix signs in Scotland suggesting you don’t drug-drive. What does that say: “Oh look, if you must take drugs then please don’t drive”?

What sort of message is that? The priorities all wrong. We will be telling burglars next to drive safely after a robbery or risk having an accident due to them being in an anxious state.

Come on RAC, let the police concentrate on the real criminals and throw your efforts into driver awareness and education.

GRAHAM CARROLL
Courier

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