Fleet News

Brake conference to tackle driver impairment

Driving while impaired, whether through fatigue, poor eyesight or the influence of alcohol or drugs, is highly risky behaviour which results all too frequently in death and serious injury.

Road safety charity Brake is urging professionals with an interest in road safety to attend its essential Fit to drive conference, sponsored by Dräger, to help them tackle these key road safety issues.

Ellie Pearson, senior professional engagement officer at Brake says: "Impaired driving, whether through drink and drugs, fatigue, or poor eyesight, poses a huge risk to the lives of all road users. It is crucial that road safety and fleet professionals properly understand these risks and take all possible steps to eradicate them. I would recommend the Fit to drive conference to anyone with a professional interest in road safety who wants to make a difference in their community or workplace."

Despite recent progress, drink and drug driving still pose a huge threat on UK roads. More than 8% of UK road deaths in 2011 were caused by drivers impaired by alcohol. Meanwhile, 57% of respondents to a recent Brake survey of fleet operators stated they don't test drivers for alcohol; 63% stated they don't test for illegal drugs. Driver fatigue and poor driver eyesight are also devastating risks, which could easily be eliminated by changing driver attitudes and behaviour.

Mark Burrup, Regional Focus Group Manager Diagnostics, at Draeger Safety UK Ltd says: "Draeger Safety UK is proud to be associated with Brake and the great work they do to raise awareness of road safety issues. We are very happy to be sponsoring the Fit to Drive conference.

"We work to create diagnostic equipment that accurately tests for substances that can impair drivers and have a long history of helping law enforcement professionals to test drivers who may be impaired by alcohol, being the first company in the UK to receive type approval on a breathalyser.

At the conference, expert speakers will share the latest research on the dangers of impaired driving and provide professionals with advice on implementing successful community and workplace interventions through effective campaigning, education and enforcement.

  • Dr Kim Wolff of King's College London, chair of the Department for Transport's expert panel on drug driving, will discuss the panel's findings and recommendations as reported in March 2013. Dr Wolff will also discuss the direct implications of the panel's report for road and fleet safety practitioners.
  • Yvonne Taylor, roads policing officer with North Yorkshire Police and PhD student at the University of Leeds Institute for Transport Studies, will present her research into driver fatigue among shift workers. Yvonne will also discuss drivers' awareness of and attitudes to the issue.

The seminar will take place on Tuesday 17 September 2013 at Sedgley Park Centre, Manchester. Places cost just £90 + VAT for Brake subscribers and £136 + VAT for non-subscribers. Contact Brake on admin@brake.org.uk or +44 (0)1484 559909.

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