One third of all road traffic collisions involve someone driving at work, so both Employers and employees share the burden of responsibility as well as a legal obligation to manage the risks associated with this. Since health and safety responsibility extends to all work activities it also includes driving vehicles on public roads. This brings into focus activities such as driving and using a mobile phone hands-free, not in itself illegal but not risk free either.
Also in focus is the huge ‘Grey Fleet’ of vehicles owned or leased privately by employees but used on company business. Does the vehicle have the correct insurance, is it road worthy and subject to a proper test and inspection regime? Does the employee have the right licence to drive? In a recent survey of 1000 business drivers 25% admitted that they did not have the correct insurance in place. So a quarter of all the businesses involved were in effect using a vehicle without insurance (under the use, cause, permit parts of road traffic law)
Companies should robustly risk assess the use of its vehicles and put in place appropriate policies to prevent situations such as this arising.
Companies who have GPS trackers fitted to their fleet must also understand that they are sat on a whole raft of data which should not simply be filed and ignored. If that data reveals that a driver is regularly exceeding the speed limit and they fail to act then they too could be held accountable if that driver is involved in an accident where his or her speed is an issue. In effect they had a chance to deal with the issue of speeding and prevent the accident but failed to do so. Again under the use cause permit jeopardy they may be seen to have permitted the driver to exceed the speed limit on their behalf.