Archive for March, 2007

More lorry driver mayhem

A 51 year old Telford man has received a lengthy custodial sentence following his conviction for dangerous driving, his Volvo truck having ploughed into the back of a stationary car whilst making a call on his hand held mobile phone. Two teenage girls lost their life as a result. Although on this occasion no employing entity was brought to book for the carnage and devastation wrought on the two families concerned, it serves to illustrate that robust procedures to govern the sensible use of mobile phones must be in place if companies are going to protect themselves from potentially damaging negative publicity.

Lorry drivers jailed after death crashes

Two lorry drivers have been jailed for causing death by dangerous driving in separate road traffic accidents. James Wingfield, 36, was jailed for three years after admitting three counts of causing death by dangerous driving when he appeared at Peterborough Crown Court. His lorry ploughed into a car killing Stacey Gitsham, 26, and her son Joshua, two, and 11-week-old Georgia, in December 2005. The court heard that Wingfield was not speeding at the time of the accident on 8 December, but that the crash was the result of a ‘prolonged period of inattention.’ Judge Nicholas Coleman said Wingfield would serve half his sentence before being eligible for parole and would be disqualified from driving for at least three years.

In a second incident, lorry driver John Payne, 31, who was using his mobile phone just before he smashed into a stationary car and killed 23-year-old Trinity Taylor, was jailed for four years. Payne, who had admitted causing death by dangerous driving, was also banned from driving for seven years. Sentencing Payne, the Recorder of Winchester Judge Michael Brodrick, said: “Anyone wanting an illustration of using mobile phones in a vehicle only has to look at the facts of this case.”

So called professional truck driver Peter Murray killed a family of four, including two children, on the M25 last year as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol. Murray will not only serve six years in jail for four counts of causing death by dangerous driving but also be disqualified from driving for five years thereafter and have to take an extended driving test, effectively ending his career as a driver.

Director convicted following employee death

A driver of an articulated dumper truck was killed when it rolled over and crushed him in Lancashire, resulting in two companies and a director involved being fined a total of £250,000. Whilst we recognise that this was not an on-road incident, the DfT is currently consulting on new regulations governing driving for work purposes and high profile incidents such as this do have an influence on policy thinking. The HSE Inspector involved in the case, Ian Connor, commented, “It is vital that everybody who operates a specialised vehicle like this is properly trained and that there is a high standard of supervision to ensure that they always use the vehicle safely.”

Huge compensation for dangerous driving

A 21 year old refuse worker has been awarded a £3.75 million compensation payment after he was paralysed in a crash resulting from his workmate performing a ‘shift load manoeuvre’. The driver had already been convicted of dangerous driving earlier in the year and a supervisor convicted of aiding and abetting. Although the Health and Safety Executive appear not to be following this case up, one can only speculate as to increase in the employer’s vehicle fleet insurance premiums as a result of this incident.

Support services

In order to further reduce the administrative burden on the customer, Drive & Survive can also handle much of the staff communication required to ensure the risk management programme takes place in a timely fashion.

For instance, invitation and follow up emails can be distributed within a pre-determined timescale, culminating in a ‘referred to line manager’ ultimatum email, in the event of a non-response from the recipient.

We are also able to offer analysis of crash damage costs, by way of cost per claim, incident ratio, incident type, in order to build up a picture of the claims experience. This allows us to develop a cost/benefit proposition, from which a targetted training programme can be created.

Drive & Survive is also able to design bespoke communications materials in a range of electronic formats to assist with the dissemination of information to company personnel who need to be told the reasons for, and the scope of, the driver risk management programme.

Support Services