Accreditation schemes for van and truck operators should extend to cars, according to a former police chief.
Speaking at the Fleet Industry Advisory Group’s (FIAG) autumn workshop, Ian Brooks, a former Metropolitan Police chief inspector and founder of health and safety specialist OSCAR Strategic Consulting, said: “Such standards should be extended to company cars, motorcycles and home delivery moped fleets because companies have a duty of care to other road users. Money invested in road safety will pay for itself.”
The workshop heard how accreditation to safety-focused commercial vehicle schemes such as the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), the Freight Transport Association’s Van Excellence initiative and CLOCS (Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety) were becoming increasingly critical for companies to secure new contract wins.
However, Brooks added: “It is critical that accreditation scheme governance is not inappropriately continually added to so that it increases compliance costs because that would be to the detriment of society at large.”
As a result, he suggested: “It is vital that fleets are represented on scheme governance committees so compliance requirements are set that mirror real world operational attainment and there is no standards’ creep.”
Delegates also suggested that rather than a number of best practice schemes being in existence there should be a single, non-commercial government-backed initiative.
FIAG was launched three years ago to enable fleet decision-makers to share fleet industry best practice and knowledge.
FIAG chairman Geoffrey Bray said: “There is no magic wand. No one knows everything and people do resist change. But there are always challenges ahead. With the number of advances in many areas of fleet operations accelerating, it means decision-makers cannot relax. There must be a continuous process of learning and understanding in every business so policies and procedures change accordingly.”