May 2014 Newsletter

Black Box Technology – Final Report and Good Practice Guide

Many employers are using telematics to monitor the at-work driving of their staff. This technology can significantly reduce crash rates, levels of risky driving behaviours, and fuel and accident costs , but research provides little detail of the practical issues employers face in using it, or how to best use the data and feedback to reduce risk and costs.

In 2012, the Scottish Government provided funding to RoSPA Scotland to conduct a pilot project to evaluate the practicalities and effectiveness of employers using telematics to monitor and improve the at-work driving of their young staff. The project was designed to explore the practical issues that employers face when seeking to use telematics, how they were or were not resolved, and how they were able to use the information the technology provides to improve their management of occupational road risk for young drivers at work.

Given the small sample size (of both employers and drivers) the pilot was mostly concerned with assessing the barriers employers need to overcome to make use of this technology; it is not a quantitative analysis of the effectiveness of telematics on driving behaviour.

The final report on Black Box Technology and also a Good Practice Guide will be published soon. Watch this space!!!

Road Safety Village – Royal Highland Show 19 – 22 June 2014

As in previous years, ScORSA will have a presence within the Road Safety Village at this year’s highland Show. The Village concept is now funded by Road Safety Scotland (part of Transport Scotland) and gives an excellent platform for the visiting public to gain limitless amounts of Road Safety and other casualty reduction information in one visit. Through numerous partners including Road Safety Scotland, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and ourselves, it also provides an opportunity to emphasise the importance of managing occupational road risk.

On the ScORSA stand we will be promoting the benefits to both employer and employee of managing occupational road risk whilst highlighting or organisational aims. We also plan to update our display and distribute relevant information and guidance over the four days.

If you are visiting the show, pop along and see us in the Lifestyle Section. The Village is located at the south west corner of the Showground backing onto the A8 and Hallyards Road. Just lookout for the Police vehicles.

Details of all the other entertainment at the Show can be found at Royal Highland Show website.


RAC Survey: Vans are NOT more likely than cars to have accidents

RAC conducted a survey with 1,218 respondents to understand motorists’ views towards van drivers.

The results showed that:

  • 54% of motorists think van drivers take less care on the road but their belief is misguided.
  • 57% believe van drivers’ reputation for bad behaviour at the wheel is deserved.
  • In spite of their reputation for being a menace to other road-users, 54% of motorists believe van drivers play an important role in the economy.
  • 15% of motorists think the UK would be worse off without the much-maligned ‘white van man’.

The RAC research also revealed motorists’ suggestions for what ‘white van man’ could do to improve his reputation:

  • 43% said they should drive more carefully and with more consideration.
  • 17% said they should pay more attention to the rules of the road.
  • 3% said they will always have a bad perception of van drivers, giving hope to the ‘white man van’ for the remaining 97% who would be willing to change their minds.

According to RAC’s analysis of Department for Transport statistics, between 2002 and 2012, the number of vans increased by 29% to 3.3m whereas the number of cars rose by 11% to 28.7 million over the same period, with 1 in 10 vehicles on the road being now a light commercial vehicle.

From official statistics, RAC also found that van drivers are no more likely to be involved in a reported accident than car drivers as both have a less than 1% chance of being involved in an accident, only about 0.4% of registered vans were involved in accidents of all severities in 2012 if compared to about 0.7% of cars involved in accidents of all severities.

For more information visit RAC website.

Drivers more careless while driving company cars

IAM Drive and Survive commissioned Springboard UK to carry out a survey with 350 people who drive for work (exclusive of a standard commute).

The survey found out that:

  • Drivers who use company vehicles are 25% more likely than drivers using their own their own vehicles to have a minor accident.
  • 63% of drivers said they had car park bumps and minor scrapes whilst driving company cars.
  • 17% admitted they were more likely to speed when driving for work, compared to 11 per cent of people when driving for leisure purposes.
  • 31% of respondents said they didn’t speed at all.
  • 73% of respondents said they give more consideration to drive in a fuel-efficient manner in their private vehicles compared to 60% of a company vehicle.
  • Between 54% and 61% of respondents said they check essentials such as tyre pressures, windscreens and fluid levels when driving a personal vehicle regularly, whilst those same checks dropped to between 20% and 26% for those driving company vehicles.

For more information click here.

Drink Driving

Brake: Fit to drive survey

Brake has conducted a survey with 228 organisations that employ drivers about drink-driving and drug-driving policies at work. The respondents were operating fleets of all sizes and vehicle types and responsible for thousands of drivers and vehicles around the globe.

According to the survey:

  • More than half of respondents never test employees for alcohol (55%) or drugs (57%)
  • 44% would dismiss an employee found driving over the legal limit for alcohol
  • 62% take disciplinary action against employees found to have any amount of alcohol or illegal drugs in their system at work, but only 30% would dismiss employees for this reason.
  • 47% educate drivers on the risks of drug-driving, and 50% educate drivers on the risks of drink-driving.

The survey also found many employers don't have crucial practices in place to manage other fitness drive issues, like tiredness, stress and poor eyesight, which can lead to devastating and costly crashes:

  • 42% regularly review schedules and workloads to ensure drivers are not put under undue pressure that could lead to stress or tiredness
  • 60% stipulate that employees should stop and rest if they feel sleepy at the wheel
  • 25% require staff who drive for work to have a full eyesight test every two years.

For more information visit Brake website.

To read the full report click here.


Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and cyclists

According to the reported Road Casualties Scotland, there were 901 pedal cyclist casualties in 2012, including 9 fatalities (two more than 2011) and 167 seriously injured (7% more than 2011). Distance travelled by pedal cycle increased by 2% between 2011 and 2012 and by 24% since 2002.

RoSPA Cycling Accidents factsheet highlights the trends in cycling data.

HGVs pose a significant risk to people on bikes and other vulnerable road users, but data suggests they are not as dangerous as other vehicles. Collisions with HGVs typically account for around 20% of cycle fatalities in Britain, and over 50% of those in London, despite making up less than 5% of traffic. These often occur when an HGV is turning left at a junction. About one quarter of accidents resulting in serious injury to a cyclist involved an HGV, bus or coach, passing too close to the rider.

The most common vehicle involved in collisions with cyclists is a car or taxi, with the rider usually being hit by the front of the vehicle. In a quarter of fatal cyclist accidents, the front of the vehicle hit the rear of the bicycle. The Department for Transport 2012 report recorded 2,434 collisions between a cyclist and a car, with the killed or seriously injured (KSI) rate between a cyclist and an HGV just 114.

But it doesn’t come as a surprise that the cyclists involved in an HGV collision tended to sustain more serious injuries than those involving cars. In 2013, there were 14 reported fatalities in London, nine of which involved an HGV.

The vast majority of these collisions occur in built-up areas, even though 75% of HGV mileage is on non built-up roads. There is a particular concentration in London; about one fifth of the fatal HGV/Cyclist crashes in Great Britain occur in the capital. Almost one third of the cyclists killed in London, die in a collision with a HGV2. The problem is especially acute in inner London.

The three main types of collision between pedal cyclists and HGV’s, accounting for about three-quarters of the pedal cyclists killed in these crashes, are:

  • HGV Turning Left across path of Cyclist
  • HGV and Cyclist Turning Left
  • HGV Overtaking Cyclist

In a collision between a lorry and a cyclist, it is invariably the cyclist who will be injured. Therefore, lorry drivers have a particular responsibility for taking extra care to avoid collisions with cyclists. However, cyclists also have a responsibility for avoiding these collisions, and to cycle safely and responsibly to minimise conflict with lorries.

Both cyclists and HGV drivers are responsible for their own and each other’s safety. Many problems would be solved if both groups gave each other plenty of room on the road.

To read the full document click here.


New HGV technology trial to improve road safety

Transport for London (TfL) has commissioned Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to test blind spot safety technology, which can be fitted to Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) to help reduce the risk of collisions between HGVs, pedestrians and cyclists.

The project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the full range of blind spot safety technology in spotting pedestrians and cyclists, which includes camera monitoring systems, optical and radar detection systems and other sensors fitted to HGVs.

The findings of this evaluation will be used to create detailed performance criteria, such as the distance objects can be detected, how easily the equipment detects vulnerable road users, and how reliable the equipment is, to allow for independent testing and evaluation of products on the market today. As a result, the companies will be able to use the new standard testing criteria to make a more informed choice about the types of safety equipment they invest in for their fleet vehicles.

For more information on the project visit Transport for London website.

How to use a digital tachograph

One in five serious accidents is due to fatigue. Fatigue results in adverse changes in performance, including increased line crossing and poor speed control.

Drivers are legally required to accurately record their activities, retain the records and produce them on demand to transport authorities who are charged with enforcing regulations governing drivers' working hours.

Tachographs record information about driving time, speed and distance. They’re used to make sure drivers and employers follow the rules on drivers’ hours. A tachograph system comprises a sender unit mounted to the vehicle gearbox, the tachograph head and a recording medium. There are 2 types of tachograph - analogue and digital. All commercial vehicles first registered on or after 1 May 2006 must be fitted with digital tachographs. Otherwise you can use an analogue tachograph.

The information from digital tachographs is saved on smart cards so it can be checked later. There are different types of card for drivers and haulage companies.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has published a guide which provides advice for drivers and operators of goods vehicles on all aspects of the drivers’ hours rules.

Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency’s checklist of digital tachographs’ responsibilities:

1. Drivers must:

  • use a driver card to digitally record all your work and driving under EC rules
  • make sure the recording equipment and driver card are functioning correctly and use them properly
  • only hold one card – the only exception to this is during the month before your card is about to expire, when you may also hold a replacement card
  • allow your employer to download data from your card
  • apply for a replacement to lost, stolen, damaged or malfunctioning cards within 7 days, and take printouts at the start and end of each driving day before your replacement card arrives
  • not use a card which does not bear your own details
  • not use or be in possession of a forged or altered card
  • not record any false data on your card or any recording equipment
  • not suppress or destroy any data recorded on your card or any recording equipment
  • not make a false, forged or altered statement to obtain a card
  • carry your card when working and produce it for DVSA officers or the police when asked to do so, even if it has not been used.

2. Operators must:

  • make sure drivers do all of the above
  • have a company card to download the recorded data from the recording equipment
  • download the data from driver cards at least every 28 days
  • download the data from the recording equipment at least every 56 days
  • analyse data from the recording equipment and driver cards to check for breaches of drivers’ hours rules
  • make sure the recording equipment is functioning correctly and is used properly
  • make sure the recording equipment is calibrated every 2 years
  • make sure defective recording equipment is repaired without delay

Those who breach the rules can be fined or, in the most serious cases, imprisoned for up to 2 years, and have the licence revoked, suspended or curtailed.

For more information visit Department for Transport website.

MORR: Survey shows that fleets are managing road risks

Kwik-Fit Fleet in conjunction with RoadSafe have conducted a survey with 97 fleets (with more than 250 thousand company cars) about implementation of management of occupational road risk (MORR) policy.

The survey revealed that:

  • 86% of companies had policies and procedures in place and all companies said one of key procedures was driver licence checking
  • 79% identify ‘high’ risk drivers
  • 65% have on-the road and office-based driver training
  • 65% investigate the cause of crashes involving staff to avoid repeat incidents
  • 42% conduct online driving assessments for staff
  • Almost 100% were aware of the potential impact of the recently introduced Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act on rogue fleet operations
  • About 75% were aware that company directors could be jailed for failing to suitably protect staff driving on company business in the event of a crash
  • 55% said the legal implications of an at-work driver being involved in a road crash was the single biggest factor in prompting their company to implement at-work driving policies
  • 29% said there were moral reasons, while only 14% pointed to the financial savings that could be achieved as a result of vehicles being involved in fewer road crashes
  • 5% said they did not have an at-work driving mobile phone use policy, whilst from the 95% who do have a policy in place, 54% have banned all phone use – hands-free as well as hand-held – while on the move

    Click here for more information.

Minibus Safety - A code of practice

Minibuses are motor vehicles that have been constructed or adapted to carry more than eight, but not more than 16 passengers in addition to the driver. They provide a vital mode of transport for a great number of people and organisations.

For every mile travelled, people in minibuses are less likely to be involved in an accident than people in cars. Nevertheless, the risk of injury and death for minibus users can be reduced.

The aim of this Code of Practice is to help organisations that own, hire or lease minibuses, to provide a safe, effective and efficient service.

The code of Practice covers areas such as the management system, the minibus driver, the passenger care, journeys abroad among others.

To read or download the Code of Practice visit RoSPA website.


Police in Europe get power to access British drivers’ details from DVLA

Currently, British drivers can be fined for most offences in Europe only if they are stopped by an officer, who can issue an on-the-spot penalty.

European Commission has drawn up a new law which allows police in 27 European countries access to British drivers’ details from DVLA, so they can pursue fines for motoring offences committed on the Continent if they suspect an offence has been committed and the licence plate of the car has been captured on CCTV cameras.

The offences include speeding, driving without a seatbelt and driving while using a mobile phone, but not parking offences as they are not considered to be a road safety problem.

Once the DVLA has received the demand and the car’s registration number, it will supply the registered owner’s name and address, allowing European police forces to send a penalty demand through the post through a letter written in English.

Police in most European countries have been sharing driver information since November 2013 under a European policing directive. Britain exercised its right to opt out of the directive on the grounds that the penalty notice applied to the registered owner of the car — so-called owner liability — rather than the person who was driving the vehicle at the time the offence was committed. Under British law, the driver at the time is responsible.

However, the European Court of Justice ruled that the law had been in–correctly drafted and should have fallen not under the policing directive but under the road safety directive, an area where Britain has no right to opt out.

The measure is controversial because the directive prosecutes vehicle owners, rather than the offending driver and the conditions. Motoring groups condemned the measure because it doesn’t take into account the differing rules across Europe.

To read the directives of facilitating the cross-border exchange of information on road safety related traffic offences click here.

FREE ScORSA A3 Desk notepads with 2014 calendars and A6 driver notepads

The Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) still has a number of A3 desk pads and A6 note pads, featuring road safety messages, to give away free of charge.

The pads are designed for small and medium-sized firms but have relevance to anyone who drives for work purposes or manages those who drive for work purposes. They remind managers of their responsibilities in terms of health and safety legislation and ask them to consider safety issues relating to the journey, the vehicle and the driver. The A3 desk pads include a 2014 calendar.

The pads are available in bulk to organisations across Scotland. Email us place an order.

For more information about ScORSA, please visit our website.