Over the past decade speeding has remained the biggest motoring-related offence where the defendant is found guilty, worryingly the number of offenders found guilty has increased dramatically in the last 12 months. In fact there has been a 28 per cent rise in the last year from 115,935 cases to 148,426.
Businesses should be concerned about the trend because, according to the Department for Transport, more than a quarter of all traffic incidents are likely to involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.
A survey last year disclosed that almost half of UK motorists who drive for their job admitted to speeding whilst at work, with a quarter saying they are more likely to speed in a vehicle provided by their employer than their own.
As health and safety law applies to work activities on the road in the same way as it does to all work activities, companies need to manage the risks as part of their health and safety arrangements.
Worth noting that while the company car driver will primarily be held responsible for a speeding offence, employers may also be liable for instance where they set timetables or schedules so tight that the employee may see no other way than to break the speed limit.
How many times do you hear of somebody being told: “Take the works van – all staff are covered to drive it”.
And how many business car drivers know that vans have lower speed limits, such as 50mph not 60mph on a single carriageway, 60 not 70 on a dual carriageway?
- Some cities are setting 20mph limits, which may also be applied outside schools
- A 30mph limit otherwise usually applies to all traffic on all roads with street lighting
- On single carriageway roads the limit is 50mph for vans (under 7.5 tonnes) and minibuses under 12m, but 60mph for cars and car-derived vans and motorhomes under 3.05 tonnes
- On dual carriageways the limit is 60mph for vans and minibuses under 12m, but 70mph for cars and car-derived vans and motorhomes under 3.05 tonnes
- On motorways the limit is 70mph for cars, car-derived vans, light vans, minibuses and motorhomes – lower if towing.
While is easy to see how certain instances of speeding while at work can occur, companies should take a close look at the issue and, if necessary, organise the correct type of training and/or advise for their employees.
For instance, if you have an employee who has accumulated 6 or more points before the end of their first 2-year period (including any points acquired before passing the test) their licence will be revoked automatically. To regain the licence they must reapply for a provisional and may drive only as a learner until they pass a further driving test.