Telematics provider Lightfoot has welcomed the news that NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) is calling on organisations to cut harmful emissions from vehicles through the adoption of smoother driving styles.
NICE calculates that up to 25,000 unnecessary deaths are caused by air pollution each year, much of which is rooted in inefficient driving. As a result, NICE is encouraging businesses and transport services to educate their transport staff in more efficient driving skills, such as avoiding hard accelerations or decelerations and turning their engine off when at a standstill.
Lightfoot, which has worked with councils and commercial van fleets across the UK to successfully cut both fuel usage and emissions by up to 20%, believes that, given the UK’s dependence on vehicle use, changing driver behaviour is in itself the most realistic and effective way of cutting pollution quickly, delivering lasting benefits to both the environment and fleets.
Mark Roberts, managing director of Lightfoot, commented: “Lightfoot’s real time, visual and audio alert system automatically guides drivers to stay within the most efficient ‘sweet spot’ of their engine, delivering precisely what NICE is calling on businesses and transport services to achieve; smoother driving styles without unnecessary acceleration, harsh breaking or idling.”
Guidelines put forward by NICE to help cut the amount and impact of emissions - in addition to smoother driver training - include recommendations for new 20mph zones in built up areas, more congestion charges in city centres, a ban on new speed bumps to stop unnecessary acceleration and braking, and measures to encourage house builders to put living rooms at the back of houses located by main roads. These measures are proposed to encourage low or zero emissions transport, and are designed to help meet EU and national air quality standards.
NICE believes that these measures could help to significantly cut air pollution levels in built up areas, 64% of which is caused by road traffic costing the NHS £18.6 billion a year in terms of health costs linked to diseases and conditions including asthma and lung cancer.