Winter weather; equals enhanced duty of care for fleet operators

Adverse weather and longer periods of darkness make driving more hazardous. Sometimes conditions can be extreme, as we have found out over recent winters, with prolonged periods of heavy snow and floods.

 

Fleet, transport and logistic operators are used to the unexpected – especially where the weather is concerned. Professional drivers rarely have the option to stay at home, especially where important deliveries need to be made, or our motorways and roads need gritting.

 

However, the ‘business as usual’ mantra and providing road critical services, such as gritting or ploughing, demands that targets and delivery rates are still met. It’s important that considerations about productivity do not overtake responsibility and safety.

‘Think!’: ‘if you’re driving, it’s better to have none for the road’

When it comes to winter driving, being alert is everything, and that applies to both those in charge of our roads and to motorists themselves, as we have to make sure we’re sharp and ready for whatever the weather throws at us.

 

This is a vital thread of employer responsibility that must be recognised and acted upon at times such as these.

 

New figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that 9,040 people were killed or injured on Britain’s roads in 2016 where a driver was over the legal limit for alcohol. The figures show that 230 people died in drink-drive crashes during the year, up from 200 in 2015. It is a 7% increase on the previous year and is the highest level since 2012, and represents one in 20 of all casualties in reported road accidents in 2016.

Breathalyser interlock systems

Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving – drivers with levels of alcohol in their blood just half the current legal limit are at least twice more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol at all.

 

Handsfree Group has a range of breathalyser interlock systems to help transport operators manage drink-drive activities effectively across their fleet, backed up with full technical support, installation, calibration and service.

 

The groups Accredited FCS FITAS 1362 Install Engineers are placed to service customers anywhere in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, and already work closely with local authorities and national fleet operators installing these interlock devices.

Alcolock® DS®-10

Handsfree Group is the authorised distributor and installer of the market-leading DS®-10 alcohol breathalyser, which is installed as a direct connection to a vehicles immobiliser. Once fitted and calibrated the vehicle operator has to give a breath sample into the device before the vehicle will start.

 

Alcohol limits are pre-set on installation and can be configured to accommodate any level from zero alcohol present, through to the legal limit, depending on the policy of the company or organisation.

 

In the event of the Alcolock® detecting an excessive alcohol reading and the vehicle being immobilised, the system will reset itself and be ready for a further breath sample to analyse. As soon as the Alcolock® reads a sample under the preset limit the vehicle will start and be able to operate normally.

Installation and support

Handsfree Group Install engineers operate day or night fitting products and solutions at the customers premises, ensuring the least disruption to vehicle schedules.

 

If you are thinking of implementing a breathalyser interlock system and you would like more information on the products and services Handsfree Group can offer, please contact us to arrange a meeting and a full demonstration.