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Less than half of fleets would dismiss an employee for drink-driving

Published today (14 May) in a report for employers with staff who drive for work by Brake's Fleet Safety Forum, the survey reveals:

  • More than half never test employees for alcohol (55%) or drugs (57%)
  • Four in 10 (44%) would dismiss an employee found driving over the legal limit for alcohol
  • Six in 10 (62%) take disciplinary action against employees found to have any amount of alcohol or illegal drugs in their system at work, but only three in 10 (30%) would dismiss employees for this
  • Fewer than half (47%) educate drivers on the risks of drug-driving, and only slightly more (50%) educate drivers on the risks of drink-driving

Research suggests almost a quarter (24%) of road deaths in the UK involve at least one illegal drug or medicine, with Brake adding that its previous research has found people who drive for work are susceptible to these risks.

The survey also found many employers don't have crucial practices in place to manage other fitness drive issues, like tiredness, stress and poor eyesight.

Brake is urging all employers with staff who drive for work – whether they have a fleet of commercial vehicles, company cars, or staff driving their own vehicles on company time – to implement policies and procedures to ensure their drivers are sober, alert, not stressed or tired, and have good eyesight.

In response, Laura Woods, research and information officer at Brake, said: ‘We're appealing to all employers with staff who drive for work to ensure their drivers know the risks, know the rules, and know that breaking the rules will not be tolerated. Employers can use Brake's Fleet Safety Forum guidance to review their driving policies and practices, and ensure their drivers are always fit to drive.’

The Fleet Safety Forum survey report gives further guidance and best practice case studies in managing fitness to drive issues.

Les Owen from Licence Bureau said: ‘Too many companies bury their head in the sand about road risk management, but this is not helping their business nor making our roads safer. This report identifies the state of companies' management of fitness to drive issues.

‘If all employers acted positively, one step at a time, to implement the recommendations in this report it would make a big difference to road safety, result in fewer collisions, and benefit many businesses' bottom line. All companies can make a huge difference to safety by following these recommendations, whether they already engage with Brake or not.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.