It may be illegal to do anything with a mobile phone while you’re driving, but it’s one of those laws that many decide doesn’t apply to them - at least some of the time.
As an example, Australia launched its National Road Safety Partnership Program ‘Safe Use of Mobiles in Vehicles’ in 2014 - a guide for businesses and corporates on mobile phone policies for all types of workplace use.
The very next day, a member of the steering committee broke all the rules, and snapped a selfie while driving. Tragically, she was looking down as it uploaded to social media - and didn’t see the fuel tanker that cost her life.
This terrible incident underlines the necessity of developing ways of protecting employees, fleets and companies themselves.
All businesses have the power to encourage massive change, much faster and more proactively than government, and we’re asking all organisations to do what they can do to develop effective ‘safe use of mobiles in vehicles’ (SUMV) policies.
However, fleet managers are busy enough just trying to keep their vehicles running, let alone having to deal with this epidemic. But looking further up the ladder can help. The knock-on effects are many because most congestion is because of an accident – reducing that helps us get from A to B more efficiently.
We’ve spoken to so many big businesses who are saying it’s too hard, or they have tried introducing a ban policy. But then their senior executives will admit to using their phones on occasions while driving.
Presenting them with a common-sense approach, backed up by evidence, businesses will sit-up and pay attention. Insurers have been trying for ages to get traction with this, but again, more peers taking action will have a positive knock-on effect.
Safety can be built into contract requirements, so that it becomes an expectation. When big business or governments are looking around for the best price, or the fastest turn-around time, they should also be looking at who’s going to do the job most safely.
A good start would be asking: ‘Does your fleet have a safe use of mobile phones policy for their vehicular workplaces?’ Followed by ‘Do they have a safe fleet purchasing policy?’
There are a couple of companies that reported doing some mega projects and their budgets blew out by 10% or 15% in a $1.5 billion dollar project, which they attributed to road safety. This is because if something happens on site or out on the road there is a ripple effect due to parts being delayed or the site shut down.
Companies should be using it as an incentive, it’s something to sell on, that they do things the safest way, saving clients’ money in potential risk. This is something worth bragging about.
Not ideal…but understandably, over time fleet size and composition can easily get out of control.
Transport operations are a major and increasing contributor of carbon emissions, but what can you do about it?
Help your employees’ salaries go further by offering Novated Leasing and salary sacrificing.
Research from FleetPartners International Alliance Partner, ALD Automotive, through their Pulse Survey carried out in the UK suggested a lack of education and driver training was leaving fleets at risk.
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