Handsfree Group experience increased demand for Alcolock®GB


The news of the fatal M1 crash on August Bank Holiday weekend involving a Minibus and two HGVs, where eight people sadly lost their lives, was tragic.

The whole incident became preventable when news broke that the two HGV drivers involved had been charged with causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving, especially as one of the HGV drivers also faces charges relating to drink-driving and had been asleep for 12-and-a-half minutes!

The Facts

The crash, near Newport Pagnell, resulted in the death of eight out of the twelve minibus passengers after the vehicle collided with two HGVs.

AIM Logistics driver Ryszard Masierak was accused of having 55 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath after the crash (the legal limit is 35 micrograms). He has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving and death by careless driving.

FedEx driver David Wagstaff, from Stoke-on-Trent, was charged with causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

The Impact

Following the crash, Alcolock®GB and Handsfree group have found enquiries from hauliers for the Alcolock DS10 breathalyser have increased.

The life-saving device connects to a vehicle’s immobiliser and disables the vehicle if the driver is over the limit, which is recorded by the driver providing a breath sample prior to Alcolock®GB DS10 enabling the vehicles ignition system.

Alcolock®GB operational director Diane Whittock commented: “We had a spike in enquiries from hauliers following the crash – mainly from firms that have shown an interest and are now going to order it. We find that happens a lot – people tend to bury their heads in the sand and when something like this happens they decide it is money well spent.” Whittock said sales to hauliers have increased by 25% over the past 12 months, but added: “That’s not enough. Only 10% of our customers are from the haulage sector, and those that do fit our device tend to be the larger hauliers. But you can’t put a price on reputation.”

Further to these comments from operations director Whittock, insurers have also commented that using breathalysers could help firms in the event of an accident, which mitigates risk and could result in lower insurance premiums.

The Questions

Like with most new technology, there are always questions, questions about the safety, the durability, does it work?  With the Alcolock®GB comes some slightly different questions:  

– “What if a driver over the limit got someone else to blow into the device?”

– “Using the device could surely affect staff morale?”

– “Could Installing these devices raise issues of trust?”

One question could be: “Would you ask these questions to the family of a deceased drink drive victim?”…Cure Before Kill…

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