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Fleets fail to raise driver awareness of dangers of two-wheel road users

Fleets fail to raise driver awareness of dangers of two-wheel road users

Four out of five (79%) fleet operators think their organisation could do more to raise awareness among staff of the dangers cyclists and motorcyclists face.

The finding comes from road safety charity Brake’s fleet safety survey results with the organisation now calling on fleet operators to be ‘Bike Smart’ by raising awareness of vulnerable road users among their staff and enshrine positive action in their organisation’s policies.

More than 100 fleet representatives employing 413,000 at-work drivers completed the survey; the majority of respondents were from the UK, with responses also coming from fleets based in Africa, Asia, North America, mainland Europe, and Australasia.

Respondents manage more than 1.05 million vehicles in total including cars, powered two-wheelers, bicycles and goods vehicles. The size of the fleets varied: the smallest were single-vehicle operators; the largest had more than 50,000 vehicles. Respondents answered questions on policy, driver awareness programmes, their use of technology and training, and how they protect vulnerable road users within their organisations.

Other key survey findings included:
  • One in four organisations prioritised meeting delivery targets over road safety
  • More than a third (38%) of respondents believed that the fleet industry as a whole was not doing enough to look after cyclists and motorcyclists
  • Nine out of 10 respondents said that in their opinion cyclists could do more to protect themselves on the roads
  • Only 36% of respondents thought current mandatory vehicle safety features were adequate and did enough to protect vulnerable road users
  • 52% included guidance about protecting cyclists and motorcyclists in their driver education or awareness programmes.

This year’s Road Safety Week, which finished on Sunday (25 November), had the theme of ‘Bike Smart’ raising awareness about the safety of those on two wheels and encouraging everyone to be ‘Bike Smart’.

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “Every hour, a cyclist or motorcyclist is killed or seriously injured on a British road - each a tragedy that will devastate many lives. Raising awareness about the safety of those on two wheels, who face much higher risk of death and serious injury than those in cars, is absolutely vital. Protecting vulnerable road users and minimising the chance that their drivers will be involved in a crash are two of the most important steps that fleet managers can take towards raising road safety standards.

“The findings from our fleet survey suggest that many fleet managers are aware of their responsibilities towards vulnerable road users. However, it is clear there is more they could do to be ‘Bike Smart’ and raise awareness of these issues among their staff and organisation’s policies.”