ABD call for rewrite of police manual on road deaths


A very Happy New Year to you all. We’re beginning 2012 the same way we left behind the old year by bringing you the best fleet related news of the past seven days!


ABD comment on the use of 3D scanners
Our first story is from the ABD, who have made comment on the use of 3D scanners at the scene of serious road traffic accidents (RTAs).

The organisation have applauded the government for implementing this technology to avoid the 10 hours plus tailbacks, that have become the norm in recent times, following the police’s preference to treat all serious accidents as crime scenes.

They are now calling for the ‘Road Death Investigation Manual’ produced back in 2007 by the police to be rewritten, pointing out that only a minority are due to a crime being committed. They also point out the seriousness of vehicles diverting onto unsuitable routes in an attempt to avoid delays being a real safety hazard, as well as the inconvenience of missed appointments being another knock-on effect.

They have called for RTAs to be treated in the same way as air traffic accidents (ATAs) with the emphasis on establishing the cause of the accident rather than apportioning blame.

Do you agree that this is the way forward? Are you confident that a desire to keep traffic moving should in no way mean a crime may go undetected or evidence of one be missed? Let us know your views using the comments box below.


Kwik-Fit support Tim Hudson’s recent statement
Kwik-Fit were delighted by the vice chairman of the National Association of Motor Auctions, Tim Hudson’s recent statement that the importance of a franchised dealer stamp being critical in the resale value of vehicles has greatly diminished, as he pointed out: “What is essential is that company cars and vans have a documented service history across their fleet life to ensure top residual values are potentially achievable.”

Although an increasing number of fleets, contract hire and leasing companies are turning to the independent sector for servicing and MoT requirements some operators remain nervous of not taking vehicles to a franchise dealer, fearing this could have detrimental repercussions on the future value of their assets.

Kwik-fit expect to see the current 35% year-on-year rise of company-owned vehicles taken to their centres rising further after these welcomed words.

“Confirmation from an independent authority such as Tim Hudson of the National Association of Motor Auctions will give more fleets and leasing companies the confidence to have their vehicles serviced at Kwik-Fit centres in the knowledge that residual values will not be damaged,” commented Kwik-Fit Fleet sales director Peter Lambert.


ACFO honour Tony Leigh
The ACFO have honoured one of their longest standing members with an honorary life membership. Tony Leigh is, after twenty-five years service, stepping down as ACFO company secretary in order to let new blood into the organisation.

“I believe now is the right time to step down and to let younger fleet decision-makers become more involved with ACFO. In more than a quarter of a century of involvement with ACFO I have seen the organisation change and grow so that it now deservedly is the premier organisation for fleet operators. I wish the organisation every success in the future,” said Mr Leigh.

“Tony has been a tremendous servant to ACFO for more than a quarter of a century. His in-depth fleet knowledge and experience has been hugely beneficial to ACFO as a whole and many members,” added Julie Jenner, who took over from Mr Leigh as ACFO chairman in 2006.

Although retiring from ACFO, Mr Leigh, continues in his job as head of car fleet services at PricewaterhouseCoopers and will have his lifetime membership confirmed at the organisations 2012 AGM. Meanwhile, the ACFO board is currently considering the appointment of a new company secretary, and will announce its intentions early in the New Year.


Leasedrive win furniture supplier contract
Leasedrive have won a five-year sole supplier contract from furniture supplier Harveys, who previously opted to use several suppliers and brokers for its fleet needs.

"An existing customer of our rental management division, we were doubly delighted to win the tender process for Harveys' contract hire business. We have also provided financial modelling to determine the optimum financial funding route and are providing a duty of care service for cash allowance drivers," commented Roddy Graham, commercial director at Leasedrive.

Leasedrive will supply around 140 contract hire vehicles to Harveys, who are owned by the Steinhoff UK retail group.


Ogilvie Group hope to continue strong performance in 2012
Ogilvie Fleet have reported a strong performance through 2011 and are looking forward to the same this year, having increased its UK fleet to over 10,000 vehicles. Owned by the Stirling based Ogilvie Group, which achieved a seven per cent increase in turnover in 2010, Ogilvie Fleet have plans to continue to strengthen its place in this sector.

“We have continued to maintain a solid performance in what are difficult economic conditions and expect that consistency to continue into the coming year," commented Duncan Ogilvie, Chief Executive, Ogilvie Group.


Brake call on the government to address rising drug-driving problem
Brake, together with Direct Line, are calling on the government to act now and push through proposals on addressing the rising problem of drug driving.

A survey by Brake and Direct Line found that three per cent of young drivers (age 17-24) regularly drive after taking drugs, often once a month or more. It also revealed that one in nine young drivers, eleven per cent, has driven on illegal drugs in the past year.

Brake, together with the family of Lillian Groves, a young girl who was only 14 years old when she was killed by a driver who had been smoking cannabis are calling for long-needed reform, including:

  1. A new law making it an offence to drive while on illegal drugs, to rectify the current loophole. Currently it is only an offence to drive while impaired by drugs, meaning police must prove impairment to prosecute;
  2. Approval and roll-out of roadside drug screening devices, so police can test for drugs at the roadside and immediately following a crash.

"The risks of driving on drugs are huge, and the consequences devastating – yet a huge proportion of young drivers are taking this appalling gamble with their own and others' lives. We need all drivers to pledge to never mix drugs and driving, and we need the government to follow through with its commitment to tackle this problem. For too long the law on drug driving has been totally inadequate. We need a ban on driving with illegal drugs in your system, and we need roadside drugalysers. The longer this takes, the more lives will be violently and tragically lost," commented Ellen Booth, Brake senior campaigns officer.

Staying with Brake, they will be hosting their 10th annual Fleet Safety Forum Awards in June 2012 and are inviting entries, the deadline of which is March 16, this year, and which can now be made online.

The evening, which will be held at the MacDonald Burlington Hotel, Birmingham, includes a drinks reception, 3-course dinner with wine, casino, disco and entertainment and is an important networking event in the fleet calendar.

Brake make no entry charge but do require any company entering to book at least one seat at the gala dinner and awards ceremony.

To book places for the event, click here to access the online form or contact Brake on 01484 559909 or by emailing admin@brake.org.uk.


IAM concern over young male driver overconfidence
A report from IAM worryingly shows that sixty-two per cent of male novice drivers feel they possess greater driving skills than average, with only thirty-two per cent of female novice drivers saying the same.

The report entitled ‘The fast and the curious: young people’s attitudes to driver training’, also highlights that real incentives such as reduced insurance premiums are required to attract these drivers to taking further training.

“Young male drivers suffer from a lethal combination of overconfidence and inexperience. They don’t need curfews and other restrictions on their driving; they need to practice and gain driving experience safely. There are many paying thousands of pounds a year in insurance and killing themselves. The solution to this problem is to link driver training and insurance discounts," commented IAM chief executive Simon Best.


And finally, staying with the IAM…

Have you made your new years resolutions yet? Road safety charity the IAM, chief examiner and Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger is this week offering his top new year driving resolution tips.

Rodger said: “The new year is a common time for people to sit back, reflect and revaluate. Why not begin by making changes to your driving to make you safer on the road in 2012?”

  1. Look out: Keep an eye on the road ahead including pavements to give yourself more time to identify and respond to hazards;
  2. Anticipate what the traffic around you may do especially at traffic lights, roundabouts and junctions;
  3. Room: Make sure you keep space around your vehicle to leave you more time to deal with hazards;
  4. Refuel: When embarking on longer journeys, take a break every two hours;
  5. Mirror-effect: Use all your mirrors regularly so that you have 360 degree awareness of what is going on around you;
  6. Don’t presume: Never assume that another motorist has seen you or will react in the same way you might;
  7. Learn: Be open minded and realistic about your limitations and always be prepared to learn from any errors you make.

Don’t forget to visit the IAM website, www.drivingadvice.org.uk, to get up-to-date traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to drive safely in winter.


So that’s the first News Round-up of 2012 and we hope you have found it as stimulating and informative as the previous year’s offerings. We’re looking forward to a whole year of news ahead and sharing the best of all things fleet related with you. Don’t forget, we also want to hear from you and your views on the stories featured above so we hope you’ll take a minute to use our comments box below. Until next week drive carefully and tally-ho 2012!

Categories: Leasedrive Velo , Brake , ACFO , Kwik-Fit , Association of British Drivers , Ogilvie Fleet

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