Licence Bureau calls for businesses to take responsibility and empower drivers
Licence Bureau is calling for all businesses not to mount more work-related stresses on drivers and instead empower them with the tools necessary to make more safety conscious decisions.
Licence Bureau’s fear is that companies will seek to catch up on ‘lost time’ due to lockdown and COVID-19, which may put added pressure on drivers. Instead, the company is urging businesses to make the ‘right’ commercial decisions based on health and safety first and forego the temptation to constantly ‘check-up’ on them.
The move underpins Licence Bureau’s recent ‘road health’ message, which advised fleet managers to continue to enact on the ‘new norms’ of social distancing and increased awareness surrounding mental health, and encourage employees to ensure both are considerations when getting back behind the wheel for leisure or work.
Pre-COVID-19 there was already growing evidence that ever-demanding schedules and increasing driver distractions, including the expectation to field mobile phone calls whilst driving, was significantly impacting driver risk.
“No one should be put under extreme pressures when driving for business or asked to use their mobile phone whilst behind the wheel. Yet, some companies continue to hide behind policies when the reality is very different. Quite simply this is putting people’s lives at risk,” said Martin Starkey, training manager at Licence Bureau.
“With the mounting pressures across all areas of the economy and business stress levels set to rise, it is absolutely vital that individuals are empowered to use their own initiative by organising their own diaries, deciding on their modes and timings of communication and, ultimately, choosing their mobility solution as appropriate.
“Company policy and practice needs to reflect this and support it.”
With the government’s current COVID-19 guidance continuing to promote working from home where possible, and to avoid using public transport, driving for work has the potential to become increasingly important at least in the short to medium term.
“Decisions for any business activity need to be based on sound reasoning,’ explained Martin. ‘More so now than ever before companies need to recognise drivers or remote teams need to be empowered to make the right choices – whether that be using conferencing systems, arranging their own mobility or management of their own diary.”
Licence Bureau very much sees this empowered approach as being part of the ‘new norm’ for forward thinking businesses – creating far more people-centric operations.
“Lockdown has allowed many individuals and organisations to reflect on how they operate and travelling for ‘travel’s sake’ will become obsolete for many,” said Martin. “Instead, individuals will become far more in control of their own commitments and the organisations that encourage this will be the beneficiaries with greater compliance, better mental health profiles and more engaged employees.”