Incidents of aggressive behaviour and harassment towards drivers of commercial fleet vehicles are increasing, according to speakers at a recent industry event.

Representatives of the fleet industry say that drivers experience significantly more risk than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic, especially if they are working alone and at night. The threat from opportunistic thieves was often highlighted during discussions at the event, as well as the measures available to improve driver safety. Organised by SureCam, the fleet dashcam technology specialist and Peoplesafe, provider of lone worker safety devices, the event heard from a range of different organisations within the fleet industry.

“We are experiencing a greater volume of raised alerts to our alarm receiving centre,” said Mark Ryder, chief commercial officer of Peoplesafe. “Post pandemic we have seen a real change in people’s tolerance to other road users, which has resulted in a major increase in road rage. This lack of patience and understanding can lead to verbal and physical harassment for perceived disruption where vehicles are making a delivery or simply manoeuvring.”

Sam Footer, director of partnerships at SureCam, said that more needed to be done for drivers working alone, at night and in remote locations. “Employee safety and wellbeing has come to the fore in recent years – particularly in fleet sectors such as logistics, utilities, highways and construction – and many businesses acknowledge that they need more robust processes to support their mobile teams both in and outside the vehicle”, said Footer.

“Every organisation has different needs to address, but what is consistent is the demand for an affordable, easy to implement and simple to use technology solution, underpinned by a clear driver protection strategy.”

Dash cameras and personal safety apps were acknowledged as being fundamentally important in protecting drivers, and measuring risk more effectively to identify areas of weakness and where threats exist.