Employers urged to take action on pedestrians and cyclists

12.00 | 15 October 2014 | | 2 comments

Many companies with employees who drive for work don’t have “good practice procedures to protect people on foot and bike”, according to a new report published today (15 Oct) by Brake.

Brake points to DfT casualty figures for 2013 which show that “at least 24% of road deaths and serious injuries involve a vehicle being driven for work”, and is appealing to employers to play their part in preventing casualties among pedestrians and cyclists.

Brake’s Fleet Safety Survey Report 2014 presents the results of a survey of 228 companies operating commercial vehicles, company cars or vans, or with employees who drive their own vehicles to business appointments.

More than half (54%) of the companies surveyed don’t provide driver education on protecting pedestrians and cyclists; and 61% don’t instruct drivers on looking twice and checking mirrors at junctions for cyclists or motorcyclists. 80% of those surveyed don’t use blind spot sensors and 70% don’t use blind spot cameras on large commercial vehicles.

The report says that 68% of the companies don’t instruct drivers to slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops, and almost nine in 10 (89%) don’t plan routes to avoid schools and residential areas; and almost half (45%) don’t use telematics to monitor driver performance.

Brake is urging employers to take a range of steps including thorough journey planning, driver education, making use of technology to minimise blindspots and monitor speed, and building a culture of “always putting safety first”.

Ellie Pearson, from Brake, said: "Employers have a crucial role to play in preventing people on foot and bicycle needlessly losing their lives or suffering terrible injuries.

“Some are working hard and taking advantage of new technologies to minimise the risks their staff pose when driving on company time. And we know that when employers reduce these risks, they reap benefits like reduced costs and enhanced morale and reputation.

“But it is disappointing that many employers are failing to take simple steps to ensure their drivers are doing everything possible to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

“We’re appealing to all employers with staff who drive for work to get the right policies in place, make use of technologies to address blindspots and speeding, and ensure their drivers understand that protecting people always comes first."


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    “at least 24% of road deaths and serious injuries involve a vehicle being driven for work”

    Well yes – people are usually on their way somewhere when driving but I can’t see any great significance in highlighting this. Statistically, I suppose a certain percentage of people who are out on the roads are on a business related journey and perhaps that figure happens to be 24% as well. The figure quoted equally suggests that 76% were on their way somewhere else. Shops? School? Football match? Drive in the countryside? Most accidents therefore do not involve someone driving for work!

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    It is not at all clear whether driving “for” work includes or excludes driving to and from work. Whatever the figure, Brake’s implication that such driving is more dangerous than other driving has no basis without accurate data. Although it might be reasonable for large companies to take an interest in employees’ driving standards in an impersonal way, I fear that small employers might be asking for trouble, drivers being notoriously sensitive to advice and criticism of that kind.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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