The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has welcomed Royal Mail as the latest member of its National Safe Driving Award Scheme (NSDA).
In joining the scheme, Royal Mail has made a commitment to managing and reducing the risks faced by their fleet drivers while out on the road for work purposes, by encouraging and rewarding safe and responsible driving.
It will pilot the scheme in Hereford and Birmingham, involving a total of 263 drivers ranging in age from 18 to 65.
The company has recently witnessed a change in its delivery structure, which will see many of the delivery workers sharing a van as opposed to using their own cars. The number of Royal Mail vans on the road will also rise.
Up to a third of all road deaths in Great Britain involve somebody who was driving for work and in 2011, more than 600 road deaths were linked to vehicles being driven for work purposes.
The NSDA scheme, which was re-launched in 1999, works by companies sending in a list of all their drivers, whose driving records are then kept by the Society, which also provides the company with driving manuals and road safety publications.
Each year, if the drivers have had no blameworthy accidents or convictions, each individual driver will receive a certificate through the scheme, with rewards for both individual drivers and companies after certain lengths of accident-free driving.
Rick Wood, head of training in RoSPA's Driver and Fleet Solutions department, said: "A third of all road crashes involve someone who is driving for work purposes, so it makes good business sense to manage occupational road risk.
"Rewarding good driving is a great way of boosting staff morale and helps to change people's attitudes to driving.
“For many people, driving is the most dangerous thing they do for work and the NSDA scheme is an extremely effective way of encouraging and rewarding safe and responsible driving.
“We look forward to welcoming Royal Mail to the scheme and wish them luck in achieving their first year of accident-free driving."
Paul Gatti, Royal Mail logistics director, said: "Royal Mail is committed to improving the safety of its drivers and the public. We have introduced a number of initiatives in support of this, both in respect of vehicle technology and driving behaviours.
“The RoSPA National Safe Driving Award scheme is a way of acknowledging and rewarding those drivers who demonstrate their equal commitment to this culture, and we look forward to seeing the continually improving results.