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The Metropolitan Police supports Driving for Better Business Campaign.

15 October 2010

A failure by employers and drivers to comply with at-work driving legislation can prove a nightmare resulting in business upheaval, court appearances and, more recently, a trend for civil claims running into millions of pounds.

The warning comes from the Metropolitan Police’s Commercial Vehicle Unit, which is now working closely with the government backed Driving for Better Business campaign, to further promote occupational road risk management best practice to London employers.

The Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit fulfils a number of roles, which includes visiting employers to advise on at-work driving road safety compliance. The visit may be triggered at the request of the organisation or as result of a road traffic incident such as a crash, a vehicle shedding its load, a vehicle striking a bridge or spot checks resulting in mechanical defects being identified and other irregularities.

Sgt Richard Golding, of the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit, said, “The visits we now take could result in guidance being issued or could lead to court action. All employers should review their current at-work driving policies and practices.”

“Too many organisations write policies and then neglect to rigorously endorse and enforce them in practice. The weak point in many organisations is the driver. Policies can be compiled and the safest vehicles operated but if the van, minibus or lorry is driven in an unprofessional manner or the load is not properly secured the employer could be at risk of prosecution. It is vital that all employers ensure policies are complied with.”

In today’s increasing litigious society, an increasing number of organisations that cause road traffic collisions or incidents that result in road closures are becoming the subject of civil claims for financial losses suffered by other employers hit by the disruption caused.

Sgt Golding said, “Incidents can cause huge disruption for other road users that can result in a significant loss of income for other businesses. We are increasingly being asked to provide evidence to support claims that can run into several million pounds.”

Michael Parish, Programme Consultant for the Driving for Better Business campaign, said, “The Driving for Better Business campaign is all about raising at-work driving standards to make the roads safer. We are delighted that the Metropolitan Police Commercial Vehicle Unit is engaging with the campaign and helping to promote occupational road safety to employers across the capital.”

For full press release please click here.

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