Businesses should treat all employees who drive for work as “professional drivers” to help improve road safety.
Colin Hartley (pictured), managing director of DRiiVE Consulting, told Fleet200 members that robust risk management should begin with staff recruitment.
He said: “With all the technology we have, with all the cameras we have, with the ability of you people and your experience and expertise, it is still appalling that possibly three people are going to die today in work-related incidents on UK roads.
“What can we do to try and reduce those casualties? Does it not all start at the very beginning when you interview somebody for a position?
“At some point, that person is probably going to be given the keys to an asset worth £20,000, £30,000 or more.
“So prior to the interview to become a service manager or service engineer, should we not be thinking that person is going to become a driver?
“Should we not be referring to that person as a driver rather that a service engineer? If you are an HGV driver and I ask you what you do, you will tell me that you are an HGV driver.
“If you are a service engineer and I ask you what you do, you will tell me you are a service engineer – you will not tell me you are a driver.
“But when we start to analyse how much driving is being done compared to how much work is done with a spanner and a screwdriver, we are going to find that the person is going to be driving more than they are on site doing their engineering duties.
“Does that make them a professional driver? Absolutely, so we should be thinking about that when we actually bring people into our industry.”
He added: “We are effectively putting their finger on the trigger of a weapon when we give them a car.
“A car is a killing machine, a lorry is a killing machine, a van is a killing machine. On its own, it is an inanimate object.
“Put a driver behind the wheel of it who isn’t the right person to be driving that vehicle or is in the wrong frame of mind to be driving that vehicle, and it becomes a weapon.”
MORE: To receive Hartley's presentation email email@example.com. (Available to fleet decision-makers and Fleet200 sponsors only)