Businesses must devote extra diligence to ensuring the safety credentials of their haulier providers, says East Midlands-based Aggregate Industries.
The company says news storied featuring poor driving have hit the headlines throughout 2017, featuring incidents in which poor lorry driving has led to structural damage of property and infrastructure, accidents and even fatalities.
During November last year one UK County conducted secret filming which worryingly captured a number of HGV drivers using their mobile phones, watching YouTube videos and even reading books behind the wheel.
Ben Young, Head of Road Logistics at Aggregate Industries, said: “The increase in reported dangerous lorry driving in the news is shocking, and it’s something that all businesses, whether operating their own fleet or using a transport provider, have a duty to address.
“At Aggregate Industries we operate a robust theory and practical testing process when recruiting a new haulier which includes requiring them to achieve a minimum of FORS Bronze accreditation – followed up with regular monitoring and maintenance as part of our safety programme.
“Also, in a progressive move forward for our industry, we recently launched ‘Fair & Just’ – a new transparent points-based policy designed to improve standards further. Although most drivers deliver high standards on a consistent basis, we wanted a fair and transparent approach to dealing with the few occasions where standards drop, which might include driving dangerously.”
This latest news comes as the demand on UK roads has never been greater. According to the latest statistics by the Department for Transport, HGV vehicles moved a record 170 billion tonnes of goods in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 15% – a trend which shows no sign of abating.
Ben adds: “While the vast majority of drivers are sensible behind the wheel, there are still some who have fallen into bad habits, putting themselves and others in danger. With the demand on commercial vehicles and, in turn, traffic increasing, it’s vital that we take action now to raise safety standards for all. One of the things we have done to combat this is introduce a system to monitor driving style within each vehicle, so we can educate and further improve the behaviours of drivers working on our business.
“By adopting a rigorous approach to their in-house fleet or outsourced transport providers, which includes ongoing testing, monitoring and a “firm-but-fair” approach to dangerous driving, businesses can help to negate some of the risk on the roads.”