Fleet managers oblivious of death by dangerous driving laws
Launched at the company's London offices on 30th January, Allianz Commercial, in partnership with leading law firm DAC Beachcroft, has published a white paper aimed at prompting awareness about motoring offences and their penalties amongst fleet managers and business drivers.
The Motor Prosecution White Paper identifies the various fatal and serious driving offences and outlines the sentencing guidelines as well as highlighting the potential impact on companies where an employee is charged with a death by dangerous/death by careless driving offences.
Under the sentencing guidelines, a driver can face up to 14 years behind bars for death by dangerous driving. The survey revealed that not only did 46% of fleet managers and company car drivers not know what legally constitutes dangerous driving, over 50% said they did not know the penalties for this offence.
Lili Oliver, head of motor prosecutions at DAC Beachcroft, commented: ‘More than four out of five people who stand trial for death by dangerous driving are convicted by a jury, and will face a custodial punishment. Drivers should make no mistake – these cases result in life changing prison sentences.
‘It is crucial that drivers understand that criminal law will hold them responsible for the decisions they make behind the wheel. It is particularly true when using electronic equipment which has a potential to distract them and affect their driving because court considers this as increasing the culpability and the severity of any driving offence.’
Speaking at the launch, Oliver added that death by dangerous or careless driving offences face one the highest rates of conviction by trial by jury, second only to child offences.
The report also highlighted that only 16% of fleet managers are aware of the business implications if an employee was involved in an accident.
Speaking about the findings, Jonathan Dye, head of motor at Allianz Commercial, added: ‘Over the last few years we have seen a clamp down on dangerous and careless driving and the introduction of harsh new penalties.
'What our report highlights is the lack of awareness of the changes amongst fleet managers and business owners. For that reason, fleet managers must properly educate drivers and ensure they have procedures in place to protect not only those individuals but also members of the public and other road users.'
The Motoring Prosecutions White Paper is available to download here.