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Road Safety GB North East targets fleet drivers with new campaign

Dubbed Driving Down Your Risk, the campaign has been launched by Road Safety GB North East after data showed that one in five (21%) road accidents in the North East have involved people who were driving for work during the last five years. This compares to about 5% of road accidents that involved a drink driver.

The group revealed that between 2008 and 2012, 7,778 people were involved in collisions in the region while they were on a journey for work.

During that period, there were 6,402 collisions involving business travel, which resulted in the death of 74 drivers and riders, the serious injury of 748 people and the slight injury of 8,262. The figures do not include drivers of public service vehicles.

Men account for 78% of casualties, while those aged between 35 and 44 are in the highest risk group, accounting for 26%.

Cars make up 58% of the vehicles involved in work-related collisions, followed by small goods vehicles at 21% and heavy goods vehicles at nine%. The remainder is made up of pedal cycles, medium-sized goods vehicles, motorcycles and farm vehicles.

Alan Kennedy, road safety manager at Durham County Council, said while the figures were not going up, collisions involving journeys for work were still way too high.

He added: ‘We are appealing to both drivers and employers. Motorists need to watch their speed and must give themselves ample time to reach their destination. It is also vital that they drive according to the weather conditions and avoid distractions, such as mobile phones and eating and drinking while on the move.

‘However, it’s important that businesses play their part too. They must remember that they are liable under the Corporate Manslaughter Act if their policies are not up to standard. They have a duty of care to their staff to make sure they have enough time to reasonably get to appointments, have sufficient stop breaks and are not discussing business on the phone whilst driving, and are not suffering stress.

‘Companies seem to be putting their employees under more and more pressure to deliver, but they need to appreciate that someone under pressure takes risks. Our question to employers is “Are you doing enough to keep your staff safe?”’

Kennedy suggested employers open up dialogue with their staff about issues around driving for work, so that risks could be reduced, with particular attention given to realistic appointment times, speed and the maintenance of vehicles.

He also advised businesses to take advantage of a free driving course for all employees, entitled Safety and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED), which is funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and may be obtained through local authorities.

For more information about the course contact your local authority road safety officer and for more information about Road Safety GB North East and the campaign go tohttp://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/regions/r3.html

Road Safety GB North East targets fleet drivers with new campaign

Fleets in the North East are being targeted under a new road safety campaign after it was revealed that you are more likely to be involved in a collision as the result of a business driver than a drink driver.

Dubbed Driving Down Your Risk, the campaign has been launched by Road Safety GB North East after data showed that one in five (21%) road accidents in the North East have involved people who were driving for work during the last five years. This compares to about 5% of road accidents that involved a drink driver.

The group revealed that between 2008 and 2012, 7,778 people were involved in collisions in the region while they were on a journey for work.

During that period, there were 6,402 collisions involving business travel, which resulted in the death of 74 drivers and riders, the serious injury of 748 people and the slight injury of 8,262. The figures do not include drivers of public service vehicles.

Men account for 78% of casualties, while those aged between 35 and 44 are in the highest risk group, accounting for 26%.

Cars make up 58% of the vehicles involved in work-related collisions, followed by small goods vehicles at 21% and heavy goods vehicles at nine%. The remainder is made up of pedal cycles, medium-sized goods vehicles, motorcycles and farm vehicles.

Alan Kennedy, road safety manager at Durham County Council, said while the figures were not going up, collisions involving journeys for work were still way too high.

He added: ‘We are appealing to both drivers and employers. Motorists need to watch their speed and must give themselves ample time to reach their destination. It is also vital that they drive according to the weather conditions and avoid distractions, such as mobile phones and eating and drinking while on the move.

‘However, it’s important that businesses play their part too. They must remember that they are liable under the Corporate Manslaughter Act if their policies are not up to standard. They have a duty of care to their staff to make sure they have enough time to reasonably get to appointments, have sufficient stop breaks and are not discussing business on the phone whilst driving, and are not suffering stress.

‘Companies seem to be putting their employees under more and more pressure to deliver, but they need to appreciate that someone under pressure takes risks. Our question to employers is “Are you doing enough to keep your staff safe?”’

Kennedy suggested employers open up dialogue with their staff about issues around driving for work, so that risks could be reduced, with particular attention given to realistic appointment times, speed and the maintenance of vehicles.

He also advised businesses to take advantage of a free driving course for all employees, entitled Safety and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED), which is funded by the Local Sustainable Transport Fund and may be obtained through local authorities.

For more information about the course contact your local authority road safety officer and for more information about Road Safety GB North East and the campaign go to http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/regions/r3.html

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.