Putting road safety first: treating reckless driving as seriously as workplace misconduct

Semi-truck with cargo trailer driving on highway hauling goods in evening. Delivery transportation and logistics concept.

National Highways is advising employers to treat instances of reckless driving by employee drivers with the same level of concern as they do unruly office behaviour.

In order to drastically reduce casualties on the road network, Mark Cartwright, head of commercial vehicle incident prevention at National Highways, has emphasised the significance of managing risk on the road as effectively as within business premises.

He is urging fleet managers and drivers to collaborate and interact with workers, highlighting the need of understanding the hazards they confront.

Speaking on a PDT Fleet Training podcast, he said: “One of the things that terrify and fascinates me in probably equal amounts is the number of health and safety organisations I’ve come across with robust systems and talented managers and directors that don’t get that their responsibilities extend out onto the road.

“You wouldn’t allow or turn a blind eye to bad behaviour within an office space or production facility, so why aren’t we having the same rigour with company drivers or people driving for work?”

By 2050, Network Highways wants there to be no accidents on the strategic road network.

National Highways urged fleet managers to sign up for a free trial of Ping, a driver behaviour project that employs cameras on the road network to identify dangerous driving.

Ping sends fleet operators “ping” notifications to let them know about dangerous driving habits using a variety of sensors and cameras on the strategic road network (SRN).

This includes speeding, close following, weigh in-motion sites, mobile phone and red-X offences.

Cartwright urged business leaders to consider the impact of their employees’ driving behaviours. “A great majority of vehicles on our network are for work purposes,” he said. “Be a demanding client. If you want to come and work for us, show us you know how to keep yourself and everyone on our network safe.”

New campaign launched to monitor bad HGV drivers

Separately, the road safety specialists at Snooper are promoting the installation of stickers on all HGVs in the UK so that other drivers may review their driving online.

Reduced time spent by vehicles in the far right lane will benefit both HGV drivers and other road users, according to the campaign.

Any Heavy Goods Vehicle weighing 7.5 tonnes or more is prohibited from using the right lane of a motorway when there are three or more lanes available.

HGV drivers that use the third lane risk receiving a steep £2500 fine, three points on their licence or perhaps a driving ban for doing so.

According to the most recent data, there were 654 road fatalities reported in crashes involving HGVs between 2019 and 2021.

The ‘How’s My Driving’ campaign will allow road users to report any dangerous driving to the HGV’s owner or business, as well as to the DVLA.

More HGV users will be aware of the significance of not utilising the right-hand lane as a result of lorry drivers being more closely monitored, according to Snooper, which means fewer incidents and collisions are likely to happen.

Gary Digva, from Snooper, explained: “We want to make it mandatory for all HGVs to have ‘How’s My Driving’ stickers on the back of the vehicles to encourage motorists to watch their driving and to stick to the rules of the Highway Code.

“Obviously it is a small minority of HGV drivers who are unlawfully using the right-hand lane to bypass other traffic, but there is a reason why this law is in place.

“Making it illegal to let HGVs into the third lane protects all other road users from the significantly larger and heavier vehicles on the roads, especially along motorways whilst travelling at high speeds.

“Especially in extreme weather conditions, it is even more vital for lorry drivers to use the first two lanes only, as strong winds could blow HGVs off course and into other vehicles.

“With other road users being able to report dangerous driving to the HGVs operator or company, drivers risk having contracts terminated, penalties charged and points added to their licence – and even disqualification from driving.”

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