Fleet News

Fleets to play road safety role, but reduction in drink drive limit ruled out

The Government has said it is determined to continue to cut the number of people killed or seriously injured on Britain’s roads, including at-work drivers.

However, it has steered clear of publishing any specific targets for reducing casualties, unlike previous road safety strategies.

Instead, the framework sets out a wide range of measures to tackle careless and dangerous driving – from on-the-spot fines issued by the police for careless driving, to tougher action against drink and drug drivers.

But it concludes that improving enforcement on drink driving will have a greater impact than lowering the drink drive limit, effectively ruling out any changes to the current limit.

ACFO chairman Julie Jenner said: “ACFO supports any move to cut the number of road deaths and to punish those drivers using the roads illegally.

“However, I question whether this strategy contains enough guidelines to enable the police to implement them consistently.

“In addition, improving enforcement on drink and indeed drug driving is all well and good but given the huge reduction in the numbers of traffic police over the last few years, who is going to be enforcing these new regulations?”

According to the most recent statistics available, 2,222 people were killed in accidents on Britain’s roads in 2009, down from 5,373 in 1999.

In the same year, 24,690 people were seriously injured and 195,234 were slightly injured in road accidents that were reported to the police.

Despite the absence of an accurate reporting regime, it’s estimated that up to 30% of all road crashes are work-related. That equates to approximately 150 road deaths and serious injuries a week resulting from crashes involving at work drivers, according to RoadSafe.

It’s a serious issue for the fleet industry as more employees are killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads while driving on behalf of their employer than in any other work-related activity.

However, it has been working tirelessly to improve its road safety record with initiatives such as Driving for Better Business campaign, which is managed by RoadSafe.

It has almost 60 ‘business champions’ drawn from across the private, public and voluntary sectors to promote the message that good management of at-work drivers makes sound business sense.

And, with the new Government strategy coinciding with a United Nations-backed ‘Decade of Action’ road safety initiative, the fleet sector is being urged to continue in its efforts to cut casualties.

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