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Driving a ‘core skill’ for business, says Ford boss

Driving a ‘core skill’ for business, says Ford boss Andy Barratt

Driving should be seen as a core skill for business, and a health and safety responsibility for all organisations in the public and private sector, says Ford boss Andy Barratt.

In his new role as chairman of the road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, Ford’s managing director in the UK has pledged to focus on driver and rider behaviour in the road safety debate.

A revamped IAM RoadSmart manifesto highlights the seven areas where the charity believes it can make the most impact in reducing the number of people killed and injured on UK roads.

Importantly for fleets, it also acknowledges the importance of driving to the economy and business.

The manifesto will form the basis of a submission from IAM RoadSmart to the House of Commons Transport Committee inquiry into road safety.

Barratt (pictured) became chairman of the charity after succeeding Ken Kier, who stepped down this month having been in the role for three years.

Barratt has almost four decades of experience at Ford, where he started as an apprentice. He has been MD since 2015.

He said: “To be appointed chairman of IAM RoadSmart is an honour. I wholeheartedly support IAM RoadSmart’s manifesto pledge that post-test training is vital for safer roads. I’m delighted to be taking a leading role for a charity whose principal purpose is to make better drivers and riders.

“In my roles at Ford, developing safe vehicles is the number one priority. In taking the Chair of IAM RoadSmart, my focus will be to ensure that human factors are high on the road safety agenda in order to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on roads in the UK.

“As a cyclist, driver and pedestrian I’ve been pleased to lead Ford’s ‘Share the Road’ initiatives, encouraging cooperation and understanding between road users.

“As a motor industry representative chairing IAM RoadSmart, I believe that we can continue to find common ground, cooperation and practical ways forward to make sure that real change happens - with vehicle makers, politicians, the media, and with all road users.”

IAM RoadSmart’s manifesto focuses on the importance of boosting the confidence of drivers and making it an enjoyable activity, while keeping everyone safe at the same time.

Embracing all stages of a driving and riding career from immediate post-test into older age, the manifesto underlines the importance of periodic refresher courses. It also includes extending driver rehabilitation after a conviction for a wider variety of motoring convictions.

It also highlights the changing world of new technology as the switch to autonomous and connected vehicles continues to gather pace.

Mike Quinton, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “I am delighted that we have attracted someone of the calibre, standing and seniority in the UK automotive industry as Andy to the role of Chairman.

“I am confident his knowledge and contacts will be invaluable in driving us forward and I look forward to drawing on his skills and leadership experience.”

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