The numberof serious and fatal crashes in Britain involving an at-work driver have risenfrom 5,442 recorded incidents in 2009 to 5,506 in 2018.
As a resultof the rising numbers, IAM RoadSmart has called on the Health and SafetyExecutive (HSE), drivers and their employers, the Government and the police forurgent action to address the serious stagnation in the number fatal and seriousinjury road crashes on UK roads involving at-work drivers over the past decade.
The latestIAM RoadSmart report revealed that 49% of the businesses polled expected theiremployees to take a call whilst driving for work. Similarly, 13% employees whoresponded consider the hard shoulder a safer place to take a work-related call,while 17% of employees stated that they have been involved in an incident whendriving for work due to a call from a colleague.
Director ofpolicy and research at IAM RoadSmart Neil Greig has said: “Employers need to domore to drive change across their workforce”.
The reportalso highlighted the issue of the growing ‘grey-fleet’ drivers’ sector. For thoseusing privately owned vehicles for work-related journeys, IAM RoadSmart claimthat employers still need to exercise their responsibility for staff health andsafety by ensuring they stay within the law and follow appropriate guidelines.
TonyGreenidge, IAM RoadSmart Business Development Director stated:“The penny hasn’tdropped for many organisations that their responsibility for a grey fleetdriver is exactly the same as for a company car driver.”
Accordingto IAM RoadSmart, the lack of progress in reducing incidents and fatalities isdown to a combinate of poor driving from the drivers themselves, and lack ofaction from the Government, HSE, the police, employers and vehiclemanufacturers to drive change.
While the2007 Corporate Manslaughter Act was expected to underpin safer business drivingand road objectives, not a single person has been prosecuted or sent to jail inrelation to death caused by a company car driver thus far. Greenidge expandedon the lack of convictions saying: “Where there is clear evidence of poordriving behaviour, no employer of a driver involved in an avoidable death whileundertaking a business journey has been anywhere near a prosecution. It seemsthe legislation has proved difficult to apply.”
As a resultof recent reports and the rising number of accidents and deaths, IAM RoadSmarthas called for road safety to be placed at the heart of procurement practice inUK industry. If a business can’t demonstrate a strong commitment to legislationcompliance when driving for work, they run the increasing risk that they mightbe disadvantaged when bidding for contracts in both the private and publicsector.