Companies need to do more to train and educate employees about the potentially fatal consequences of speeding, according to a report by Brake and Licence Bureau.
The survey of 131 organisations that employ drivers, covering nearly 26,000 vehicles and 40,000 people driving for work, found:
- Two in five organisations lack a speed policy.
- A third of speed policies don’t apply to senior management.
- Around two-thirds (65%) don't have a speed policy that applies to external contractors.
- Few companies are taking advantage of the full range of educational and training opportunities open to them, with only two in five asking questions relating to speed at recruitment or training during induction, and only three in ten providing additional training for drivers caught speeding
- Only a quarter of companies get involved with promoting speed awareness in their local communities, for example by supporting local training or education on speed.
Brake is urging all employers with staff who drive for work – whether they have a fleet of commercial vehicles, company cars, or staff driving their own vehicles on company time – to implement policies and procedures to ensure their drivers are fully aware of the dangers of speeding.
Excessive speed – either breaking the speed limit or driving too fast for the conditions – is listed by the police in 27% of fatal crashes in the UK in 2013. Brake argues that this figure is a "gross underestimation" because "the fact the vehicle was involved in a collision means it was going too fast to have stopped in time".
If a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle, the most important factor determining their injuries is the speed the vehicle is going at.
Slower speeds can make communities safer. On average, a 1% reduction in mean speeds reduce the crash rate by 5%.
Tom Fisher, Brake’s senior research and communication officer, said, “It is worrying that many employers are lacking a coherent ‘speed strategy’. Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties.
"Our research shows that many companies can and should do more. This would help prevent the devastating impact of road death and injury, but also save companies money through reduced insurance premiums and improve their reputation within the community.”
Malcolm Maycock, director of Licence Bureau, said: “We all know that ‘speed kills’. However, we need to make our staff aware that it’s not just on the fastest roads, as motorways account for only 5% of all fatalities, rural roads 60% and urban roads 35%. Then take into account bent metal, where 85% is urban driving, 10% rural and 5% motorway.
"Clearly driving too fast for the environment we are in will leave us without the time we need to stop. The reinforcement of this message by organisations is a positive for all.”