How a proactive approach can improve driver behaviour

04 July 2018

Attendees at JLT Specialty’s recent motor fleet risk management event heard how a proactive approach is vital to improving driver behaviour.

The latest motor fleet forum event once again brought together fleet operators and motor industry professionals to hear the latest thinking on risk management and discuss issues affecting their business.

The keynote presentation was delivered by award-winning road safety expert, Andrew Drewary, Road Risk Manager at third-party administrator Broadspire, who referred to the importance of embedding a proactive and specific fleet road risk policy rather than incorporating occupational road risk within a general health and safety policy.

A road risk policy

This process should start before employment is offered, he says. “Employers should incorporate processes as part of the interview and selection process whereby each candidate has to undergo a series of tests.”

Candidates who pass initial tests covering the Highway Code; knowledge of the regulations for the five basic areas of speeding and hazard perception, alcohol, drugs, mobile phone/portable equipment use, and medical conditions; and knowledge of the penalties they and their potential employer could face if they break the law should then undergo a practical driving session with a qualified assessor.

If the candidate passes the practical test, only then should an interview be considered suggests Drewary, who has managed the investigation and analysis of more than 37,000 road traffic incidents. 

“If you already have employees who drive as part of their daily routine, these points should be introduced as part of an ongoing training programme on an annual basis,” he adds.

Employers also need to be aware of the implications of medical conditions and fitness to drive.

Keeping the DVLA informed

Any driver who fails to notify DVLA of a reportable medical condition could be fined £1,000 for each condition. If a driver fails to inform the DVLA of a reportable medical condition recorded on their GP’s medical records, any motor insurance policy they are named on could be invalidated.

If a driver is involved in a collision and it comes to light that they have failed to report a medical condition to the DVLA, their insurance company may decide not to indemnify claims against the driver or their employer.

“Ignorance is no defence – and this includes the employer,” explains Drewary. “If an employee who drives for work has a medical condition recorded on their GP’s medical records that is reportable to the DVLA, the employer needs to know and should implement and manage a robust driver wellbeing policy.”

Attendees also heard from Paul Mountford, Casualty Reduction/Drink and Drug Drive Lead at Merseyside Police, who notes that the issue of employees being under the influence of alcohol and drugs is more relevant than ever.

“Employees are far more likely to comply with a policy if they fully understand the rationale and the benefits to them,” he says.

“Education around drink and drug driving law, police procedures and consequences and how alcohol and drugs affect a person’s ability to carry out basic tasks can ensure compliance and staff safety.”

These are the kinds of discussions that make the motor fleet forums such a useful learning platform, says JLT Specialty Motor Specialist, Steve Vachre.

“Many of our clients believe the biggest factor in changing mindsets when it comes to driving is consequence,” he says. “If there are no consequences to our actions, we invariably do not change them.”

Expert presentations are often a wake-up call, he concludes. “The other benefit of attending is to hear what others are achieving through their risk and claims management programmes.”

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For more information, please contact Steve Vachre, Motor Specialist on +44(0)161 957 8034 or email steve_vachre@jltgroup.com

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