Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on fleet operators to clamp down on drivers using mobile phones at the wheel.

The charity made the plea after carrying out its annual Fleet Safety Survey and discovering that fewer than half (37.9 per cent) of respondents had an organisation-wide policy banning all employees from using hands-free phones while driving.

The Fleet Safety Survey, conducted with the support of Licence Bureau, covered the six key areas of the Brake Pledge:

  • Slow – within speed limits
  • Sober – free from alcohol or drugs
  • Sharp – not tired, ill or with poor eyesight
  • Silent – phone off and out of reach
  • Secure – belted up in a safe vehicle
  • Sustainable – only when you have to

More than 200 fleet operators completed the survey; the majority of respondents were from the UK, with responses also coming from fleets based in Asia, Africa, North America, mainland Europe, and Australasia. Respondents managed a total of more than 190,000 vehicles including mopeds, cars, vans, trucks, and buses, and more than 170,000 employees driving for work. The size of the fleets varied: the smallest were single-vehicle operators; the largest had over 80,000 vehicles.

Other key findings included:

  • Fewer than one in ten respondents (7.6 per cent) prioritised environmental concerns when making vehicle purchasing and leasing decisions
  • Just three in ten (33 per cent) required a full eyesight test for all new staff who drive for work, or proof they had one recently
  • Only in one ten (11.7 per cent) had vehicle safety ratings as their top priority when making purchasing and leasing decisions
  • Just five in ten respondents (53.2 per cent) strongly agreed that their organisation considered licence checking to be a priority
  • Three in ten respondents (31.1 per cent) didn’t provide any training, even at a remedial level, on staying within legal speed limits

The Pledge is also the theme of this year’s Road Safety Week, which takes place 21 – 27 November 2016. The complete Fleet Safety Survey report is available as a free resource for Brake Professional members, and any organisations that register for Road Safety Week.

Ellie Pearson, professional engagement manager at Brake, said: “The Pledge covers key areas of managing occupational road risk, so this year’s fleet safety survey gives a really great snapshot of the policies and procedures that fleets have in place to manage these areas of risk. I’d urge fleet operators to see how their company measures up compared to our survey respondents, and to identify the areas of road risk management where they can improve their practices.”

Mike Reed, marketing director at Licence Bureau, says: “This year’s Brake Pledge is a great focal point for fleet management. Especially when the findings of the fleet safety survey highlight many qualified areas for improvement.  Take your time read through it. See what you are missing and where you can make a difference.”