IAM wants employers to raise standard of company drivers

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 per cent of people who drove for business reasons had been offered no training by their employer at all – even though 44 per cent 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.

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

While driver training courses are widely available, the IAM is disappointed that very few employers choose to enrol their company drivers in them. The IAM reminds 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 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.”

Greig 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.”

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