IAM calls for employers to raise standards to cut numbers of fatalities amongst company drivers

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The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has called for companies to step up their commitment to safer business driving on UK roads, by recommending organisations they employ or hire carry the ISO 39001 accreditation – which shows their drivers have met some of the highest safety standards.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has called for companies to step up their commitment to safer business driving on UK roads, by recommending organisations they employ or hire carry the ISO 39001 accreditation – which shows their drivers have met some of the highest safety standards.

The IAM’s Drive & Survive division conducted a survey in 2014 which alarmingly revealed that 72% of people who drove for business reasons had been offered no training by their employer at all – even though 44% of them said they would welcome the opportunity.

Between 2008 and 2013, 3,493 people were killed in accidents involving a driver/rider driving for work, including 515 in 2013 (1).

According to Driving for Better Business, up to one in three road crashes involves a vehicle being driven for work (2).

Every week, around 200 road deaths and serious injuries involve someone at work.

In total between 2008 and 2013 there were a total of 322,239 casualties involving a driver or rider driving as part of work (including passengers and other casualties) including 47,602 in 2013. This includes
drivers, passengers and others who were killed, seriously injured or injured (1).

While driver training courses are widely available, the IAM is disappointed that very few employers choose to enroll their company drivers in them. The IAM remind them they are legally obliged to protect their employees, and suggests contracts involving road use should be looking to include ISO 39001.

ISO 39001 sets out the minimum requirements for a Road Traffic Safety Management System. Governments, road authorities, safety groups and private companies were united in the desire to develop a standard to reduce the numbers of people killed and injured on the roads each year.

The IAM’s Manifesto (3) calls for public sector procurement guidelines that insist that contracts only go to companies with a road risk policy or ISO 39001 accreditation, and that Health and Safety regulations should be extended to include people driving for business.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “This is a problem that people conveniently sweep under the carpet. It simply isn’t enough to give an employee a vehicle and send him on his way as a representative of your organisation – there is too much at stake.

“All employers have a duty of care to ensure that all company drivers are competent and they are not a risk to themselves, other road users and pedestrians. Organisations who are accredited to ISO 39001 Road Traffic Safety Management System have implemented a framework with clear objectives and targets, ensuring processes are in place helping to manage and identify risks whilst maintaining an effective management system and continuously improving as a business.”

Neil continued: “Employers, and those awarding any contracts which put vehicles on the road, have a duty of care to all other road users to ensure that road safety is a top priority 24/7.

“ISO 39001 and driver risk management programmes are the best way of ensuring this has happened. Therefore, anyone using drivers for any official purpose should insist their employer holds this accreditation or can demonstrate clearly they have addressed the risks their drivers face on the road. It is the simplest way of knowing those individuals are safer and their vehicles are fit for the road.”

ENDS

The IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving and motorcycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety. In 2014, it was one of the very first organisations to achieve ISO 39001 accreditation.

References:            

(1)    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-annual-report-2013
(2)    http://www.drivingforbetterbusiness.com/why.aspx
(3)    http://iam.org.uk/images/policy/manifesto/iam-manifesto.pdf

Media contacts:

IAM Press Office – 020 8996 9777
press.office@iam.org.uk
ISDN broadcast lines available

iam.org.uk

ENDS ALL

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Rodney Kumar
Institute of Advanced Motorists
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