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28th January 2021


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Soapbox: Same road, different rules: what fleet drivers should know...

* Andrew-Hogsden.jpgBy Andrew Hogsden, senior manager, Strategic Fleet Consultancy, Lex Autolease

Do you and/or your fleet drivers know the speed limit for lorries on a single carriageway in a non-built-up area of the UK? It appears that 81% of drivers don't and it could be fuelling frustration on the road, according to a study by AA Drive Tech.

The answer (in case you're amongst that 81%) is 40mph for vehicles with a gross weight of 7.5 tonnes (maximum laden weight). But for drivers up against deadlines, getting stuck behind a 'slow' lorry can seem like a road block to productivity and be a source of annoyance. If a lorry is travelling slower than most other vehicles on the road though, the chances are they're actually keeping pace with laws and regulations designed to protect them and other drivers.

For companies, keeping drivers up to speed on the different regulations applying to different vehicles can go a long way to diffusing intolerances that can potentially lead to risk-taking and dangerous driving. With the same study showing only 26% of skilled manual and service workers knowing the speed limit for lorries, this aspect of driver education seems to have fallen into a blind spot. But the truth is, it should be part of a company's duty of care.

Businesses of all size have a legal obligation to have policies and procedures in place to ensure their fleet drivers practice safe, responsible road use. Educating drivers about the rules and regulations affecting other motorists - particularly those driving large vehicles - is an important part of a robust risk management and driver education programme.

The cost of this investment is nothing in comparison to what it could cost a company - and its people, should an accident occur as the result of neglecting to do so. At best, it could cost a company significant fines and penalties. It could lead to personal injury costs along with time off work, lost business, replacement vehicles and legal fees. But far worse, it could cost lives.

These recent AA Drive Tech statistics serve as a timely reminder for businesses to regularly review their risk management systems to ensure their duty of care policies are up to date with current laws and regulations. It's not just best practice, it's a legal requirement companies can't afford to ignore. If in doubt, it's worth speaking to your fleet relationship manager who can work with you to effectively manage your duty of care obligations.

18th September 2015

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