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Improving Driving Skills for Van Drivers

1 November 2006

High accident rates, high stress levels and stereotyped images have all helped to give the ‘white van man’ a bad press over recent years. But the new Government-funded initiative SAFED for Vans (Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving) will provide van drivers with advanced driving skills to address these issues, whilst aiming to improve safety and millions of pounds in fuel costs at the same time.

SAFED for Vans is a one-day training course involving a mix of classroom and on-the-road tuition. It teaches the use of improved driving techniques, such as better use of gears, keeping correct braking distance, fuel economy and better road awareness. In short, the course aims to deliver safer, cleaner and cheaper driving. The scheme offers free places to 7,500 places to van drivers in England before March 2007.

Since its launch in January 06, the SAFED for Vans scheme has already provided some impressive results, demonstrating that a typical driver benefits from:

  • 14 % fuel consumption reduction
  • 56 % reduction in driver faults
  • 34% reduction of the number of gear changes
  • 1.5% reduction of journey time.
  • up to £500 fuel savings per vehicle, depending on mileage.


New freight scheme is a FORS to be reckoned with

Transport for London (TfL) is teaming up with the police and the freight industry to develop a new scheme which could reduce operator's costs by ten per cent while driving down road accidents and emissions in the capital.

The Freight Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) set up by TfL's Freight Unit aims to offer incentives and other encouragement to freight operators who adopt best practice, while addressing illegal and dangerous road behaviour.

Around 70 operators will be involved in the scheme's pioneer phase, which started this month and runs until March 2007, to help TfL shape the best scheme for everyone.
They will get face-to-face guidance and support from experts on issues such as fuel efficiency.

Evidence from the Department for Transport shows that advice and training on journey planning and the way in which a vehicle is driven can cut operator's costs by up to a tenth.


willmurray@roadrisk.net  07713 415454

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