One in 10 of those who drive for work have admitted falling asleep at the wheel in the past year, according to research by Brake and Green Flag.
Half of people surveyed say they sometimes drive after less than five hours’ sleep, compared to just over a third (35%) of people who drive only outside work.
With the introduction of the Corporate Manslaughter Act on 6 April 2008, employers who fail to ensure their employees drive safely during work time face greater risk of prosecution.
Brake is urging all companies with employees who drive for work to ensure they have robust systems in place to prevent tired driving. The charity has produced a free tiredness risk management pack, which is available by calling 01484 559909 or by email.
Obituary: Ted Clements MBE 1930-2007
Ted Clements, IAM road safety adviser and former IAM chief examiner, died on 11 December after a short illness.
Ted, 77, was a well-known figure in road safety. During his time as an IAM examiner, he tested countless drivers and riders of all standards - from royalty to racing drivers.
Nigel Mansell (IAM President), Sir Stirling Moss and John Surtees were some of the well-known names that Ted tested before they achieved advanced driver status.
Ted received an MBE in 1989 for his services to road safety, and regarded this as a highlight in his career, which started in 1953 when he joined the Metropolitan Police.
Thousands of company car drivers could be avoiding up to six points a time on their licences because of a legal loophole.
A recent report in the Telegraph says that many companies are protecting valued car-dependent employees by not telling police who was behind the wheel of a speeding vehicle – and that the Magistrates' Association has written to the Home Office about the situation.
Legislation under the Road Safety Act (2006) was brought into force to increase the penalty from three to six points for registered vehicle keepers who do not disclose the driver.
But it did not increase the maximum fine for the offence, which stayed at £1,000 - and some companies are happy to pay the fine rather than name valuable employees whose work relies on driving.
The Police Foundation has launched a new edition of ‘Roadcraft: the Police Driver’s Handbook’, which is used to train police drivers and for advanced and emergency response driver training.
John Graham, director of The Police Foundation, said: “This new edition of Roadcraft brings the UK police system of car control into line with the latest automotive engineering advances and graphically illustrates the importance of personal psychology and attitude in acquiring advanced driving skills.”
Roadcraft: the Police Driver’s Handbook, ISBN 9780117021686, is priced at £14.99. Click here to order or call 0870 243 0123.
Dead end for middle-aged bikers
Middle-aged bikers with little experience but plenty of money to spend on a high-powered sports bike are contributing to a surge in serious crashes, according to a recent report in The Times.
The number of riders aged 40 to 49 being killed or seriously injured almost doubled in 10 years - from 709 in 1996 to 1,282 in 2006 - according to new DfT figures. Meanwhile, the number of deaths and serious injuries among riders in their twenties fell by more than a third.
The report says that an overall decline in the motorcycling death rate per mile travelled is being marred by middle-aged men buying 1,000cc motorcycles, going on weekend outings and riding beyond their abilities on winding, rural roads.
A scheme in Leicestershire where local volunteers log speeding drivers has recorded more than 14,000 motorists speeding in the past 12 months.
Community Speed Watch enables volunteers to work within the community to raise awareness of the dangers of speeding and to help manage the problem locally. Volunteers are trained to use hand-held radar and laser guns so they can record the speed of passing vehicles.
Nine villages were involved in the initial pilot scheme, but there are now 32 communities taking part.
Nicholas Rushton, Leicestershire County Council, said: “Every community near a main road holds concerns over speeding. The Community Speed Watch scheme allows local people to make a difference, by recording selfish, irresponsible drivers.”
For further information contact Mike Wilson on 0116 3057336, or by e-mail.
Interactive Highway Code launched
The DSA has launched a CD-ROM version of the Highway Code, which includes interactive games and quizzes to help bring the Code to life.
Bill Pope, DSA’s head of learning materials, says: “This innovative CD-ROM version is a fun and interactive way for all road users to review their Highway Code knowledge. By introducing this alternative version we hope as many people as possible will update themselves with the latest rules of the road.” ￼ "
The Official Highway Code Interactive CD-ROM ISBN 9780115528460, is priced at £9.99. Click here or call 0870 600 5522 to purchase a copy.
Teens bury safety camera
Two Austrian teenagers have been fined £75,000 for hacking down and burying a roadside camera.
Peter Hochstacher and Thomas Moebel, both 19, were snapped by the camera speeding in the town of Lustenau. They used a pair of axes and a saw they had with them in their car to chop it down and then buried it in a nearby field.
But the box was found by a local farmer as he ploughed his land and police found pictures of the pair and they confessed to tearing down the device. A local court said the fine would cover the cost of replacing the machine.