Q&A – Tom Hughes of the TTC Group
Tom Hughes, recently appointed business development director of road safety organisation the TTC Group, on latest developments…
Are fleets waking up to the message of managing workplace road safety?
It is a mixed picture and experience tells us that while there are a few excellent examples of best practice, the majority are not waking up to the message that they must manage work-related road safety effectively and perhaps more importantly, that they don’t fully understand the implications of not doing so. Our market intelligence tells us that while most companies have some awareness of their obligations, the reality is that a vast majority have a misplaced view of what being fully compliant actually is.
The perspective of where the process starts and stops sometimes can be quite limited and often there is a degree of confusion from company to company with regard to what they actually need to do. Our feeling is that many organisations are missing the opportunity to not only address their compliance responsibilities but also improve the behaviour and skills of their driving pool, resulting in tangible business and financial benefits that positively impact on the bottom line.
What about the grey fleet?
The grey fleet is an interesting topic because managing work-related road safety varies among grey fleet operators. What it means to one, may well be different to another, with the result that quite often grey fleet drivers are overlooked. For clarity though, as health and safety law does not differentiate, there is no difference between someone driving a company vehicle or their own car for company use. Those companies that don’t fully understand their grey fleet obligations are potentially leaving themselves open to compliance breaches with ever increasing severity of penalties.
What type of fleets is DriverProtect aimed at and how does it stand out in the marketplace?
The business benefits and compliance position that companies need to realise to manage work-related road safety effectively applies to companies of all sizes. With that being the case, TTC DriverProtect has something to offer all types of organisations and because of the modular nature of the service it can be deployed as individual point solutions or as a fully-fledged managed service.
Effectively managing work-related road safety is an ongoing journey for any organisation and we feel that TTC DriverProtect stands out in the marketplace as it offers an end-to-end life cycle service encompassing driver risk and policy management; licence checking and grey fleet documentation services; individual driver aptitude assessments and risk profiling with a full suite of driver training services (both online and physical) being offered in addition.
We are different in that we leverage the perfect blend of people, process and technology to underpin our service offering to not only improve a client’s business but also to measure that improvement and demonstrate clear return on investment.
Furthermore we have a pedigree that is unsurpassed in the industry with more than 20 years’ road safety knowledge and a track record of developing the driving skills of more than 330,000 individuals each year.
How will the rise of connected cars affect road risk?
In a general sense there are huge benefits to be realised from some of the new technology being deployed in vehicles which assist the driver in managing their journey in a safer fashion – developments such as dynamic braking, lane assist systems and speed management technology can only be seen as a good thing.
As ever with technology though there is often a flip side – in-car technology that allows the driver to be connected on a constant basis, through SMS, email, hands-free telephony and even satellite navigation, potentially causes distractions and therefore increases the risks to both the driver and other road users. The opportunity to email or text when driving is sometimes difficult to resist for those addicted to their smart phone. This ‘nodding down’ effect is being seen as an ever increasing problem and is very much a hot topic for law enforcement bodies.
To address this specific issue we have developed a ‘managing driver distraction’ training module that can be deployed on its own or more commonly as part of a broader training and development programme.