Despite all the publicity over the last decade about speeding and the introduction of 20mph zones, recent figures published by the Ministry of Justice show that during the same period speeding is still the biggest motoring-related offence where the defendant is found guilty in court.
Society during the last decade has changed and the demand for “everything now and not to have to wait until tomorrow” could well be a factor in the figures. So, is the need for “everything now” worth the potential additional catastrophic risk?
Speeding is a very serious issue but unfortunately a lot of drivers and companies do not see it this way. Many companies do not manage this issue robustly enough and do not worry about the serious consequences to other road users, their employees or their business until it is too late. This is regardless of whether their employees are using company vehicles or their own private vehicles.
Recent figures released show there has been a massive increase in the last 12 months alone. There has been a 28% increase in those found guilty of speeding rising from 115,935 to 148,426 and figures are at the highest since 2005.
Every company that uses vehicles as part of its day to day duties needs to have a Work Related Road Risk Policy that clearly states the company’s position on this issue, for every employee. They need to clearly show how they monitor and manage their policy as well as what remedial action is taken against employees who fail to adhere to the rules.
Unfortunately, finding out that one of your employees has been caught for speeding could be far too late if you do not have any measures in place to monitor this issue. Sometimes the only outcome for the employee is dismissal. Therefore, how do you stop this from happening? The best thing is to have a ‘zero tolerance to speeding’ within your Work Related Road Risk Policy. The only way to know exactly how fast your employees drive is by fitting all vehicles with trackers/telematics. The information obtained needs to be monitored and remedial actions taken when an offence comes to light.
According to the government’s THINK! campaign, speed is “one of the main factors in fatal road accidents”. In 2013, there were 3,064 people killed or seriously injured in crashes where speed was a factor.
In the same set of figures released by the Ministry of Justice, in the last decade there have been considerable reductions in the figures for offences relating to insurance-related crimes, drink driving, vehicle registration and excise duty offences.
It is clear that speed is not seen as a serious offence by many road users and companies who run vehicle fleets. However, the consequences can be catastrophic and can lead to corporate manslaughter charges. Companies have a Corporate Social Responsibility and need to start dealing with this problem immediately.
Re-education of all vehicle drivers and management is by far the best way forward. They should look to use the services of professional road safety specialists to deliver practical on the road and classroom-based training sessions to analyse each individual’s risk and implement recommendations for change where necessary. Some of the sessions can be graphic and hard-hitting but everyone needs to understand the potential consequences of their actions if they continue to speed.
There are many providers who can deliver these services such as fleet risk management companies; driver trainers; the police and the safety charity Brake. All sessions can be tailor-made to suit an organisation’s individual needs.
3Sixty Fleet provides independent fleet risk management solutions which have been specifically designed to assist the industry to change the way in which it deals with fleet risk management. If you want to know about what they can do for you then contact us on 0345 388 3883 or Andrew Drewary on 07817 043821 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Andrew Drewary is Consultant Collision Analyst for 3Sixty Fleet (www.3-sixtysolutions.co.uk) based in Manchester.