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Driving for Better Business ramps up focus on private sector

The government-backed Driving for Better Business campaign is putting greater emphasis on the private sector as it looks to ensure greater awareness and collaboration on road risk management across the industry. 

Martin Temple, chairman of the Health & Safety Executive, echoed calls for increased private sector collaboration at the DfBB summit

Officially launched in April 2007 and now led by Highways England, the campaign is intended to help employers in both the private and public sectors reduce work-related road risk, decrease the associated costs and improve compliance with current legislation and guidance.

This includes through its Business Champion initiative; which companies that have implemented the Driving For Better Business programme and uses their experiences to highlight what’s possible through effective management of those who drive for work; from significant reductions in damage repairs to maintenance costs, fleet insurance, fuel and emissions.

Commenting on the organisation’s increased focus on the private sector, campaign director Simon Turner said: “The factors around riding or driving for work have changed significantly in recent years. Promoting safe, sustainable mobility is now more important than ever as companies look to reduce both business risk and their impact on the environment. Leaders need to be seen to back robust policies that ensure compliance with existing legislation, and to have a firm grip on all their fleet activity. We are also calling on them to extend that leadership beyond their own firms, sharing good practice and demanding the same high standards of their own supply chains.”

The increased focus on the private sector was highlighted at the DfBB Private Sector Summit earlier this month. Hosted at the McLaren Thought Leadership Centre, the event welcomed more than 100 private sector business leaders from UK as part of the UN Global Road Safety and featured speeches on the theme of leadership from the private and public sector and the UN: encouraging businesses to take greater accountability to ensure compliance around safe driving practices.

Speaking at the event, Jim O’Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England said: “We expect drivers who use our roads for business to have the highest standards of driving and compliance. There is no doubt that their companies have a role to play in this, not just for their own employees but right through their supply chains and business networks.”

Martin Temple, chairman of the Health and Safety Executive, also called for greater collaboration at the summit, saying: “Road transport is at the heart of the British economy and driving for work is an issue that affects almost every business in the UK.

“Vehicle technology has contributed to making our roads safer and there is an opportunity for the private sector to adopt a more robust ‘safe system’ approach in conjunction with sustainable development goals and to monitor and report on corporate road safety.

“Road safety is complex and it is not easy for one organisation alone to manage. By working together, and encouraging a safer work-related driving culture, we can reduce the need to use enforcement powers.”

As well as hearing from current Driving for Better Business Champions, the summit also saw several new Champions invited to the stage by Jim O’Sullivan including Balfour Beatty, Skanska, Morgan Sindall, Jacobs, Carnell Support Services, Toppesfield and Wilson & Scott.

Summing up the event, the DfBB’s Simon Turner said: “The key messages from our excellent speakers clearly resonated with delegates. At the end of the presentations, business leaders from almost 60 separate organisations who, collectively, manage over 160,000 drivers and more than 100,000 company vehicles, all pledged to support the Driving for Better Business campaign.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.