Busy motorway

Fleets should use alcoclocks on all vehicles to help reduce crashes, claims new report

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A new report published by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) advises fleets to help reduce car accidents by installing 'alcoclocks' on all vehicles and by assessing employees' fitness to drive.

Alcoclocks prevent a vehicle from moving if the driver is over the drink-drive limit.

The 'Fit to Drive?' report found that alcohol is the biggest reported impairment to driving, however it also claims drivers could be taking to the roads impaired without realising it.

Lead author of the report, Professor Oliver Carsten, commented that while the short-term effects of alcohol and drug use are well known, "there are other long-term factors such as physical or cognitive impairment that account for 6% of all fatal crashes, while fatigue is a factor in 3%."

The report suggests that reducing the legal drink-drive limit to 50mg/100ml could save an average of 25 lives per year along with 95 serious injuries.

Fleets are being advised to follow the lead of National Express buses and install alcoclocks on all vehicles. The devices can also be utilised when helping to rehabilitate previous drink-drive offenders.

The report also addresses the issue of driver fatigue, explaining that it is now well-recognised as a major contributory factor in road incidents. The authors have called on Highways England and other road authorities to debate design solutions that could 'break up' long and mundane journeys.

At present, there is no central government agency or department that takes responsibility for assessing employees' fitness to drive. The report stresses that, as well as employers having certain responsibilities in evaluating employees, the HSE must take a far more active role in this area.

PACTS executive director David Davies said: "The Government has recently published its road safety statement reaffirming its aims to reduce death and injury on the road. This report highlights where improvements are to be made and we hope that all relevant departments and agencies collaborate to act on its recommendations."

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