Essex County Council’s focus on safe-driving has been rewarded with ‘Business Champion’ status from the government-backed ‘Driving for Better Business’ campaign.
The council has implemented a comprehensive occupational road risk management strategy, coupled with a targeted drive to reduce vehicle use.
‘Driving for Better Business’ is delivered by RoadSafe, and Essex County Council is the 42nd organisation – but only the sixth local authority – to achieve ‘business champion’ status, which is used to promote the financial, legal and moral reasons for public and private sector organisations to invest in at-work driving safety.
Essex County Council runs a fleet of 855 vehicles and also has approximately 7,000 employees who drive their own cars on business – the so-called ‘grey fleet’.
As well as having launched its own comprehensive driving standards code of practice, the council is working with local businesses to help them manage their occupational road risk.
County councillor Norman Hume, cabinet member for highways and transportation, said: “Essex County Council realises that it needs to be proactive when managing the occupational road risk for employees.
“When a specific risk is identified, the county will run training or group talks/sessions for those who are targeted by the specific risk. Once the risk has been reduced for this target group then the information will be disseminated to all employees.
“Managing work-related road safety is a mammoth task, which in an ever-changing environment takes time, commitment and implementing quick wins, in addition to long-term goals to continue reducing the risks.”
Caroline Scurr, director of ‘Driving for Better Business’, said: “Local authorities have a crucial role to play in reducing work-related road crashes.
“Essex County Council has demonstrated leadership and recruitment to the ‘Driving for Better Business’ campaign means that the policies and procedures it has implemented are ones that we would recommend that all public and private sector businesses follow.”