Letters to the editor, May 27
Drink-drive warning as World Cup fever kicks in
As World Cup fever grips the nation, I am concerned that celebrations could lead to an increase in drink-drive incidents affecting staff and companies.
Companies should prepare for the football bonanza with a proactive approach to communication, information and support that includes reminders to staff around drink- driving limit issues when it affects drivers in the workplace and to think about some practical measures to prevent drink-driving ‘own goals’ for businesses.
England kick off against Slovenia on June 23 and this is an occasion when staff viewing the game on work premises may be tempted to consume too much alcohol (if provided) or use the evening to celebrate or commiserate.
Whatever the result, driver safety could be compromised the next morning.
There is no magic formula for working out the after-effects of alcohol when considering if it is safe to drive the following morning.
It can be based on a number of factors, including general health, whether food has been consumed or if the driver is taking any medication.
Normally responsible staff who have over-celebrated and plan to drive the next morning may be putting themselves and others at risk.
Each individual has a responsibility to act according to the law when it comes to keeping within safe drink-drive limits.
Companies should help remind staff of their responsibilities to practise safe driving and encourage them to organise such things as nominated driver car-share schemes for the duration of the football.
Tracey Scarr, fleet and road safety manager, Arval
Make every mile count as fuel prices keep rising
There is no doubting the new prime minister’s resolve to tackle Britain’s budget deficit.
Given the scale of the problem, it will be very surprising if the Government makes any headway without noticeably cooling an already weak economy.
Fleets will doubtless come under renewed pressure from the boardroom to keep costs under tight control.
A determined Government attack on the deficit should boost sterling, which would keep the down the cost of imports such as oil.
However, fuel prices are on a long-term upward trend and any respite from high pump prices may be short-lived, especially if the Government puts up road and fuel taxes rather than cut immediately into front-line services.
Fleets therefore need to be prepared to make every penny and every mile count. However the politicians present it, the economy is in for a real dose of austerity over the next three years.
The watchwords for fleet decision makers will be ‘complete transparency in all cost areas’.
Fuel and mileage expenses, which constitute a large slice of running costs, and responding quickly to changes in fuel prices and taxation, will be key battlegrounds.
Whatever effect July’s promised emergency Budget has on the prospects for the coalition, it’s likely to deliver some shocks to business and taxpayers.
If you haven’t held or begun a thorough review of your fleet and travel policies already, I would advise you not to wait until after Budget to do so.
Paul Jackson, managing director, TMC