Metropolitan Police highlights cost of non-compliance with at-work driving legislation
In today’s increasing litigious society, an increasing number of organisations that cause road traffic collisions or incidents that result in road closures are becoming the subject of civil claims for financial losses suffered by other employers hit by the disruption caused.
Sgt Richard Golding, of the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit, said: 'Incidents can cause huge disruption for other road users that can result in a significant loss of income for other businesses. We are increasingly being asked to provide evidence to support claims that can run into several million pounds.'
Sgt Golding and his colleagues at the Commercial Vehicle Unit are now working closely with the government-backed Driving for Better Business campaign to further promote occupational road risk management best practice to London employers.
The Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit fulfils a number of roles, which includes visiting employers to advise on at-work driving road safety compliance. The visit may be triggered at the request of the organisation or as result of a road traffic incident such as a crash, a vehicle shedding its load, a vehicle striking a bridge or spot checks resulting in mechanical defects being identified and other irregularities.
Sgt Golding said: 'The visits we now take could result in guidance being issued or could lead to court action. All employers should review their current at-work driving policies and practices.'
He also said that firms should look to ensure that such practices are complied with by the driver: 'Too many organisations write policies and then neglect to rigorously endorse and enforce them in practice. The weak point in many organisations is the driver. Policies can be compiled and the safest vehicles operated but if the van, minibus or lorry is driven in an unprofessional manner or the load is not properly secured the employer could be at risk of prosecution. It is vital that all employers ensure policies are complied with.'