Alphabet crimes almost solved

When questioning 250 of the key decision makers when it comes to managing fleet vehicle ownership, the Alphabet report has issued its second paper, entitled ‘Risk, Reward and Rationale’.

This second report in the series highlights the fleet managers’ fears as they cite speeding, using mobiles and drinking as the main concerns for the safety of its drivers.

The report commission took in several aspects, not only looking into assessing and balancing risk but also to what extent to allocate your fleet amongst staff, for field sales and van drivers alike.

One of the concerns of the instigators of the Alphabet report was that employers were, under the current economic constraints, ignoring its duty of care towards its employees. Especially on the back of a similar assessment from five years ago which suggested that only slightly more than a third (37%) of managers had drawn up plans to address such risks.

The results in this second report show an overwhelming increase with almost all of those managers surveyed (98%) making some sort of contingency to protect the drivers that represent their organisation.

Alphabet’s chief exec Richard Schooling has perhaps some explanation which would explain why there has been such an increase in such a short space of time.

“The dramatic increase in the number of fleet professionals creating risk management policies is an outcome of the corporate manslaughter legislation. This act has prompted operators to better educate employees on driver safety and implement policies to protect themselves from prosecution.”

Not only does this investment in staff go a way to protecting the organisation and the drivers, but, when presented with this evidence, it is difficult for an insurance firm to refuse cheap van insurance when next applying for renewal.

This concern for drivers’ safety has even been put above operating costs and carbon footprints, with 7 out if 10 UK and EU companies highlighting risk management as their priority.

A similar number of managers have, however, expressed concern about individuals using private vehicles to run company errands instead of fleet vehicles from the pool.

Known as ‘The Grey Area’, using domestic instead of commercial vehicles takes the responsibility of key performance indicators out of the control of the company, which defeats the object of the risk assessment exercise.

Schooling added that company-owned fleet vehicles “…give employers more control over the quality, insurance, emissions and condition of vehicles used on business.”

This area is now becoming a prime focus for further cost-cutting; with fleet van insurance and company fuel accounts, costs can be controlled, but when it comes to reimbursing individuals who take the onus on themselves, they have no control whatsoever.

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