Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
COMPANY VEHICLE SPEED CODE
Last year an estimated 1,100 people were killed
and over 12,000 were seriously injured in road accidents in which
the inappropriate use of speed was a major contributory factor.
Travelling faster than road conditions safely allow increases
both the probability of vehicle accidents and the severity of
resulting injuries. Research by the Transport Research Laboratory
suggests that company car drivers have a 30-40 per cent greater
involvement in road accidents than those driving for domestic
purposes. The victims of "at work" vehicle accidents
include not only company drivers and passengers but other road
users, including cyclists and elderly and child pedestrians.
These facts are highly relevant to all organisations
in the light of their legal and moral duty of care to manage the
risks faced and created by their employees who drive on the road
as part of their work.
RoSPA has already issued consensus guidance
on managing occupational road risk (MORR), showing how this can
be tackled within the management system framework which organisations
should already have in place for addressing other occupational
health and safety problems. It has also developed courses on MORR
and provides a range of driver services, including a driver assessment
tool, a range of driving development courses and an awards scheme
for recognising accident free driving.
A key theme in RoSPA's approach is that MORR
requires a sustained approach, with continuous development of
policies, people and procedures to "work the problem"
so that organisations can achieve progressive reductions in levels
of risk, harm and loss associated with company vehicle use. It
also requires organisations to set standards and have monitoring
arrangements in place to help "drive" the improvement
This 10-point code has been produced by RoSPA
to help organisations develop their occupational road risk policies
to tackle inappropriate use of speed by their employees.
1. Safe Driving
The organisation should make it clear that it
expects its employees to drive safely at all times for their own
benefit and that of others. It should emphasise that the achievement
of good progress on the road does not depend on the inappropriate
use of speed.
2. Keeping within Speed Limits
In that context, it should make it clear that:
it expects all its employees to never drive faster than road conditions
safely allow; that they should obey speed limits at all times;
and that persistent failure to do so will be regarded as a serious
3. Leading by Example
As in other areas of company policy, all senior
managers should lead by personal example, both in the way they
drive themselves and in encouraging colleagues to drive safely.
4. planing Safe Journeys
The organisation should also make it clear that
all journeys must be planned with safety in mind, allowing sufficient
time to enable employees to travel at safe speeds and to comply
with speed limitstaking account of reasonably foreseeable
weather and road traffic conditions and allowing sufficient time
for rest breaks to avoid fatigue.
5. Avoiding Incentives to Speed
The organisation should avoid having in place
work targets, systems of work or performance related methods of
remuneration which may create pressures which lead its employees
to use speed inappropriately and travel at speeds which are likely
to be unsafe or in excess of the set speed limits.
6. Vehicle Allocation
It should ensure that the performance characteristics
of its vehicles are matched to the competence level of drivers
to whom they are allocated.
7. Monitoring Compliance
It should consider and put in place appropriate
monitoring arrangements to assess the extent of compliance by
its employees with its policy on speed. This should include options
such as: feedback from employees themselves; monitoring licences
for points and recording all fixed penalty tickets issued to company
car drivers; use of "roadwatch" reporting schemes; and
selective use of technology such as tachographs, on-board "black
boxes" and GPS (global positioning system) based telematics
which can give a record of average and maximum speeds.
8. Investigating Accidents
Wherever practicable "at work" vehicle
accidents should be investigated by the organisation to determine
whether inappropriate use of speed by the employee was a contributory
9. Liaising with Police Forces and Road Safety
The organisation should seek to liaise with
police forces and other road safety bodies as appropriate, to
establish if and how co-operation can be achieved in pursuit of
its policy on vehicle speed.
10. Raising Awareness
The organisation should ensure that: its policy
on safe use of speed is clearly communicated to all employees
(including during driver training); that it is backed by appropriate
publicity; and that awareness of the policy and the issues involved
is maintained through regular communications and feed backboth
on high standards of compliance as well as on cases where employees
have failed to comply.
RoSPA suggests that, in consultation with workforce
representatives, all organisations review their existing policies,
standards and arrangements against this code and develop a prioritised
action plan with timescales for implementation.
RoSPA calls on all industry and trade associations,
professional and road safety bodies, trades unions, insurers,
local authorities, and police forces to support the code and to
commend it to their members.
The Society is anxious to hear from companies
and other organisations that have taken successful initiatives
to discourage inappropriate use of speed by their employees so
that examples of good practice can be communicated to other organisations.
Comments are invited on this code. For further
information on RoSPA's MORR campaign and products visit our website
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents,
RoSPA House, Edgbaston Park, 353 Bristol Road, Birmingham B5 7ST
(tel 0121 248 200 fax 0121 248 2001 Email [email protected])
Remember, Safe Drivers Know Their Limits!! and
... stay within them ...!