Fleet News

Get ready for corporate manslaughter

With the Corporate Manslaughter Act about to become law, fleet managers are to be a unique chance to hear how one company successfully handled a police investigation following a fatal crash involving one of its drivers.

The presentation, which will take place at the Risk in Fleet conference, at the National Motorcycle Museum on April 22, will reveal the behind the scenes efforts needed to ensure that fleets are safe from prosecution when the worst happens.

Freddie Watts, fleet manager of Office Depot will provide a review of his experiences in handling the aftermath of a fatal accident when one of his drivers crashed.

The driver became the first in the UK charged with causing death by dangerous driving while using a mobile phone and in 2004, the employee was jailed for three years.

Part of the investigation looked at the firm’s fleet policy and particularly its approach to mobile phone use.

The court heard that the company had a strict policy outlawing the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving.

It also fitted vehicles with hands-free kits, but on the day of the accident, the driver was in a different vehicle without a kit available.

Following the case, the heads of several major companies sought legal advice to ensure their approach to fleet safety was watertight.

Watts’ presentation is one of a number of expert case studies at the conference that are designed to help fleet operators respond to the new Corporate Manslaughter Act.

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