Hands free car phones are being banned for all company car drivers
by a leading UK manufacturer as part of new occupational road risk measures being introduced to protect staff and prevent road accidents. Hager UKs Alex Gardiner says farewell to mobile phones while driving with the help of the TTC Group’s Simon Protano. Company drivers will no longer be allowed to make or take calls while driving, announced Hager UK, of Telford, Shropshire, which is spearheading a range of measures to reduce risk for those who drive at work.
Hager is working with corporate driver trainers, the TTC Group, to co-ordinate education for their motorists who drive in the UK and abroad as part of their job.
Motorists are four times more likely to crash while using a mobile phone, warned Simon Protano, head of Corporate Risk Management & Driver Development for the TTC Group – one of the UK’s leading driver education organisations, based in Telford.
Hager MD Peter Davies and his board of directors are one of the first to move to the new policy to stop calls while driving.
“Like most people, I’m sure on a number of occasions I had driven somewhere but had no real recollection of the journey because I had been too busy concentrating on a phone call,” said Mr Davies.
“That doesn’t happen now. I have stopped talking and am focused fully on driving. I arrive at my destination relaxed, having enjoyed and remembered the drive, confident that I have been much safer. That more than makes up for the time it takes to catch up on the phone calls.”
A total of 90 company car and pool car employees will undergo classroom and on the road education from TTC instructors across the UK and Ireland. Tailor made courses are also being devised by TTC for Hager staff to understand road dangers abroad.
Mr Protano praised Hager for taking further action to reduce occupational road risk.
“They are a proactive company which has gone one step further than most by stopping hands free calls to protect their most valuable asset – their employees.
Hager’s HR manager Paula Pardoe said the company had always been “very health and safety conscious” but with changing legislation they needed to do even more to protect staff.
“We don’t have many accidents, usually just minor bumps. But we are keen to reduce those accidents even more.
“Part of our long term commitment is to find out the cause of any accidents and whether our sales employees are planning their days as effectively as they could be.”
Hager drivers, some of who drive 30,000 miles a year, will be able to catch up on calls once they are safely parked, added Paula.
There are 247,780 casualties on UK roads with almost 3,000 deaths and 28,000 injuries each year. A 200 to one chance of a road crash is cut to 145 to one for at work drivers. A third of all crashes involve someone driving on a work related task.
On the TTC course, drivers learn about speed awareness, how to look ahead and prevent crashes, cope with fatigue and stress, stay concentrated and about the danger of mobile phones.
Hager UK has already introduced online profiling to spot “at risk” drivers which have enabled them to target training more effectively. Drivers get an eyesight test, annual licence checks, monthly car safety checks and a report on how to improve their safer driving after an on road driver assessment.