Transport for London (TfL) is responsible for the day-to-day operation of London’s transport network to ensure London’s 8.4 million population keep moving efficiently and safely. TfL is committed to making roads safe for all users and is responsible for delivering the Mayor of London’s target to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on London’s roads. This includes engaging its own people in road safety through communications, good practice and its Approved Driver program, which has operated in collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and Interactive Driving Systems (IDS) over the past 5 years.
All TfL Approved Drivers – of which there are approximately 3,820 – undertake the IDS online RoadRISK assessment. This sits in Virtual Risk Manager along with other online modules including TfL’s Safe Driving Pledge and One More Second online coaching module. As well as TfL colleagues, the One More Second module is also made available to family and friends to take the road safety message into the homes and communities in which TfL operates.
Based on the responses to the RoadRISK assessment, combined with TfL’s DVLA check data, participants are rated as being at high, medium or low risk. TfL Approved Driver status is confirmed and the driver is issued with their RFID Approved Driver card, which amongst other things allows them to start the engine of TfL vehicles. Put simply: No approved status means no RFID card which means no access to TfL vehicles. The RFID card also means that TfL always know which driver is using which vehicle – which is vital for making best use of data, including its in-vehicle telemetry.
The results from all the online modules are stored in Virtual Risk Manager’s risk data warehouse, which provides a range of reporting and compliance based risk benchmarking.
Subject to the results, and to DVLA checks, on-road driver training is provided as required in association with the IAM or internally. Courses include: Advanced Driver/Motorcycle Coaching, Large Goods Vehicle driving, Light Commercial Vehicle use, Post Incident training, Vehicle Familiarisation and Safe Urban Driving. As well as the IAM training, TfL also employs its own internal driver training specialist, who is a former Met police driver and a qualified driving instructor (ADI), to manage TfL’s driver training, risk assessment, coaching and collision investigations.
Industry Leadership and Benchmarking
TfL has done a great deal as a leader in the wider fleet industry. As an example, it is an active member of the Virtual Risk Manager fleet safety benchmarking group which meets every six months. The focus of the group is on benchmarking process and outcomes, sharing ideas and being able to discuss fleet risk management issues. It is an open and honest forum managed through Chatham House rules on the basis that what is said in the room stays in the room to allow candid discussions. Most recently as part of this program, TfL shared its drug and alcohol policies with other members who were looking at implementing such initiatives. TfL has also eliminated grey fleet, by ensuring that all staff use their Oyster Travel Card for meetings within the London region, rather than claiming mileage expenses.
Ted Sakyi TfL’s Fleet Manager who has overseen the program said: ‘The team at IDS and IAM have been very supportive of our road safety programs, through the online system, face to face training modules and their industry leadership initiatives such as benchmarking, communications, bespoke data analysis and tailoring the program to our specific London-based risks.’
Ted’s comments were endorsed by Andy Cuerden, Managing Director at Interactive Driving Systems, who said: ‘It’s great to have been able to support Transport for London with its Authorised Driver and family member road safety programs over many years. Development work is also ongoing to sustain and develop the program into the future.’
Neil Hawley Group Sales Director at IAM Drive & Survive added: ‘TfL’s model shows the potential of partnership for improving work-related road safety. It is pleasing to see the program evolve and develop over time, not only for TfL’s people but also within the communities that it serves.’
Outcomes and Next Steps
TfL’s motor insurance third party claims numbers and cost per vehicle have fallen significantly in the last few years as a result of the programs described. Despite this success, the partnership is not standing still, focusing on areas such as vehicle cameras and telemetry, continued data integration and utilisations as well as the roll out of the very latest online coaching tools for driver risk assessment, monitoring and improvement.
As a result of this program, Transport for London received the 2015 Fleet News Fleet of the Year – 1001-plus vehicles and was highly commended in the Safe Fleet of the Year award. For more details click here