Fleet News

Up to four-fifths of fleets are ‘breaking the law’

A large proportion of companies are unintentionally breaking the law, because they are unaware of their legal obligations, especially with regards to grey fleet management.

That’s the view of Andy Phillips, director of Applied Driving Techniques, who believes as many as four-fifths of fleets are still operating either partially or completely non-compliantly.

This is, he says, despite increasing awareness of risk management following the publication of the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) revised guide on managing work-related road safety.

“Business driving is the foremost occupational hazard with over 30% of road deaths attributed to work-related activity each year,” explained Phillips.

“However, we are finding many companies still do not have appropriate policies in place that have been correctly communicated to employees.

“Furthermore, there is often little or no visibility over employees using their own vehicles, so it is often impossible to know whether they are driving legally.”

Under current legislation, companies need to be able to demonstrate that they have minimised risk to both drivers and members or the public, so it is essential that written policies exist that have been shared and agreed by employees.

However, there are still a large number of companies that do not have clear fleet management policies in place, and where they do, it is often only provided to those that drive the company’s own vehicles, claims Phillips.

For grey fleet drivers, organisations are typically undertaking licence checking for grey fleet drivers, but often have limited understanding whether vehicles are fit for purpose.

As a result, there is no means of validating if a vehicle being driven for business purposes has been correctly taxed, insured and properly maintained. This means in the event of a collision the company will have failed in its duty of care and could be at risk of prosecution under HSE guidance and Corporate Manslaughter laws.

Phillips concluded: “Companies should not turn a blind eye or overlook the obligations the law places upon them regarding the management of owned or grey fleet vehicles.

“By better managing risk and achieving high levels of legal compliance, it is possible to enhance employee safety and wellbeing, protect corporate reputation and operate a responsible fleet.”


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Comments

  • GCM - 26/09/2014 13:24

    It seems so easy to forget in the quest to raise H&S standards, there should be grater onus on the part of individuals to ensure their vehicles complies with all the 'normal' legal requirements and not constantly look to employers to be the scape-goat in these cases.

  • Patriot - 26/09/2014 13:28

    I agree with having proper policies in place to minimise the risks to drivers,employers and the public but I take issue with " there is no means of validating if a vehicle being driven for business purposes has been correctly taxed, insured and properly maintained. This means in the event of a collision the company will have failed in its duty of care and could be at risk of prosecution under HSE guidance and Corporate Manslaughter laws." Let me see if I understand what was said. On my journey home I decide to drop an item off for a favoured customer so he can make an early start on his vehicle repairs. Am I breaking the law? According to the statement above I am, it is clearly stuff and nonsense. I may perhaps agree with Andy Phillips if a car/van is being used for business purposes but is registered and insured as a private vehicle otherwise this is just more hassle for SME's most of whom comply with all relevant legislation.

  • Gordon Pattie, Manager Effective Transport Solutions - 29/09/2014 11:33

    Many of the companies that we currently talk to regarding training are largely unaware of their Health & Safety responsibilities. This has led to us developing a session which incorporates Health and Safety Legislation and vehicle checks. It seems to me that it is only a matter of time until we see the first prosecution for Corporate Manslaughter in relation to work related driving.

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