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Highest Commitment shown to the Driving for Better Business programme.

29 January 2019

During a  high level summit held in The House of Commons on 22 January Jim O'Sullivan, Chief Executive of Highways England and other thought-leaders including Martin Temple, chairman HSE called for more action from the public sector to reduce the risk for those who drive for work.  They emphasised the concept behind the programme which works on the simple idea that employers have a role to play in the safety of drivers. 

In a blog for his staff Jim O'Sullivan said:

"We reckon about 25 per cent of the people killed or seriously injured on our network were either driving for work or commuting. That's around 460 people annually. Scaling that up, I believe over 4000 casualties on our motorways and strategic A roads happen to people while in a vehicle for work.

Road accidents cause misery to the people involved, to the people who have to cope with the consequences - most directly for the victims and the people they affect but also to our colleagues and the emergency services that have to deal with the aftermath. Among the second level effects are the traffic queues and delays and the impact on businesses. Even when no-one is hurt, the hours lost while we clear it up can cost the economy tens of thousands of pounds and it usually means that the vehicles involved are going to be off the road for some time. 

?That's why we launched our Driving for Better Business (DfBB) campaign last year. It works on the simple idea that employers have a role to play in the safety of drivers. That's obvious for an HGV truck heading for Dover full of goods for export but not quite so obvious for the fleet of white vans and cars out there sub-contracting to the big names, making door to door deliveries in the gig economy or even just driving to and from work.

This campaign provides all sorts of information and resources to companies to help them make effective interventions with their drivers and vehicles to improve safety. The absolute clincher in making companies adopt this is that it costs less than it saves. It is genuinely better business.

We've signed up ourselves and launched our new driving for work policy to embrace its principles.

The other businesses who have signed up represent over quarter of a million drivers and 175,000 vehicles. One of our own contractors, Amey, has reported a nearly 40 per cent reduction in at fault accidents and better driving is saving fuel too.

Last week we launched DfBB for the public sector. Over 150 organisations were represented and, at a time when the public sector is strapped for cash, what is not to like about an initiative that improves safety and reduces cost at the same time. We had speakers from the HSE, police forces, and other leading safety agencies. 

This Initiative plays heavily to our values: it's about safety, we have taken ownership, we're passionate about it, we're working in teams with other companies and organisations, and we are acting with integrity by aligning our drive for safety with the commercial needs of businesses and the economy. This is Highways England at our best and I am delighted that we are leading the public sector to do better in safety and costs. Well done to all of the teams involved. I look forward to the continued success of DfBB, the reduction of injuries it will bring, and the next great idea that we have to make our roads safer and more efficient."

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