DfBB "Business Champion" wins top public sector award for driving at work initiatives
The council, headquartered in Halifax, runs a diverse fleet of 214 vehicles and more than 1,600 employees drive their own cars for business purposes.
In recent years it has upgraded and implemented a new driving at work policy to ensure the safety of its workforce who drive on business and the safety of the public who use services such as community buses, mobile libraries and other services involving vehicles driven by council employees.
As a result it has seen efficiency benefits, generated as a result of the reduced number of road traffic incidents involving its vehicles, and financial savings, which have been gained as a result of the increased focus on improved employee road safety and include a 12% insurance premium saving. These savings are being directed to front-line community services.
As part of the initiatives, the Council is also engaging with other employers in its area to encourage a culture of safe driving across the region.
In presenting the council with the Public Safety Award, the publication's judges said that as a result of the insurance savings 'the Council will be helping businesses in both public and private sectors by highlighting the advantages of road safety training and supervision'.
Michael Parish, co-director of the Driving for Better Business campaign, said: 'Local authorities have a crucial role to play in reducing work-related road crashes. Not only are they major employers in their own right and therefore must have robust safe driving strategies in place, but they can also influence local public and private sector organisations to follow their lead.
'It is therefore very gratifying that the Council's driving at work strategy and the benefits it has delivered have been recognised as top class in the public sector.'
Another Driving for Better Business champion, Gateshead Council, won the Environmental Transport Award for its electric vehicle procurement.
The council has become one of the biggest investors in electric vehicle technology by adding 10 electric vans to its fleet through the Low Carbon Vehicle Procurement Programme. Based on the Ford Transit chassis, vans are powered by advanced Lithium-Ion batteries, and can be fully recharged in around eight hours.