Fleets are being urged to submit their ideas on lifelong learning for drivers.
The Department for Transport’s Learning to Drive consultation, put together in association with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA), was launched earlier this year, but so far has had limited response from businesses and fleet managers. The consultation period ends in September.
The key element of the consultation is concerned with how to engage young people in learning to drive and how to make them safer drivers once they have passed their test.
However, a second part is involved with at-work driver training and how to encourage businesses to do more to make their employees safer on the road.
“We will encourage companies to train their staff to drive for work. We want to develop additional qualifications for people who can produce proper evidence that they have taken advantage of the improved and wider learning opportunities we propose – and in which employers and insurers can have confidence,” the consultation paper says.
“We will pilot this new approach to learning and assessment in partnership with employers and the insurance industry over the next five years. Once this period is over, we will review their effectiveness and consider what further steps should be taken.”
Critics have suggested that this could mean more expense for fleets.
There is also a suggestion that the DSA could do more with the driving test to make young drivers ready to tackle the particular pressures of at-work driving, including adding motorway driving into the learning process.
The paper adds: “Some employers are concerned that driving standards among new employees are not good enough.
The basic licence standard should reflect employers’ needs better. Employers want their drivers to be safe, to protect their assets and minimise insurance costs. We want to support employers who train their drivers.”
Currently, organisations, including the Fleet Safety Association, the Federation of Small Businesses, Brake and Drive-Tech have been consulted, but the DSA wants to build up a wider picture from the fleet industry.
A spokesperson for the DSA said: “We are looking to get the views of as many businesses and fleets at possible on this subject. They can go to the microsite at http://dsa.gov.uk/learning todrive and log their views.”
The consultation paper is available at www.dsa.gov.uk/consultation