Lockdown Roads And The Temptation To Speed
Last week North Yorkshire Police reported that less traffic on the roads was tempting some drivers to drive at excessive speeds. More drivers were also seen driving without wearing a seatbelt and driving whilst holding a mobile phone. Nick Adderley, Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police stated that a minority of drivers were using roads like a ‘racetrack’. A lack of speed management is likely to cause accidents which put the NHS under further pressure.
If your business is still running your vehicle fleet, it could be worthwhile to warn your drivers. Whilst the roads are much quieter, the behavior of some drivers is increasing the risk of collisions occurring.
Driving at higher speeds leaves less time to react to incidents on the road and it takes away the drivers’ ‘safety margin’ so a near miss is much more likely to become a crash.
Reminders For Drivers
Some of these points can be incorporated into a toolbox talk:
- A restricted road has streetlights at intervals of at least 200 metres. The speed limit on a restricted road will always be 30mph unless signs state otherwise.
- If you are late for a meeting or delivery, increasing your speed will make little difference. According to research at Edinburgh Napier University, driving for 50 miles at 80mph rather than 70mph only saves 5 minutes https://www.napier.ac.uk/about-us/news/increasing-the-speed-limit-wont-get-traffic-moving-faster
- Get into the habit of checking your speedometer in the same way as you check you mirrors. Check more often when leaving high speed roads.
- Try driving in a lower gear e.g. 3rd gear, when on a 30mph road.
So what can be done to improve your drivers’ speed management?
There is a range of actions available although in the short term education of drivers through reminders and toolbox talks is a simple and cost effective approach.
Some steps for longer term consideration include:
- Planning driver’s schedules so they have time to reach their destination without the need to use inappropriate speed.
- Using driver profiling to identify those drivers who are most likely to speed. Your highest risk drivers can then be provided with training.
- Driving licences need to be checked against the DVLA database. Speed awareness training should be provided for drivers accruing points.
- Use your telematics system to create a geofence around a section of road where you know the speed limit. You can then have the system tell you when your driver is speeding through the geofence area.
- Your telematics system can also tell you who is using harsh braking and over acceleration. These could be a tell-tale indicator of a driver with poor speed management behaviours.
If we speed our margin for error is reduced. This means we are more likely to lose control of the vehicle. There may be less traffic on the roads but there are still plenty of trees and walls to collide with. A quick toolbox talk could be a valuable use of five minutes. If you need a speed management policy for your business, you’ll find one The Fleet Safety Academy at fleetsafetyacademy.co.uk