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Time for fleets to play it safe, please

This week revealed what could be another victim of tough economic conditions for smaller fleets – safety and driver training.

We were shocked by the revelation that small fleets seem to be overlooking their duty of care obligations and neglecting driver training, according to the latest car trend report from GE Capital Fleet Services. An alarming 63 per cent of small fleet managers see the importance of duty of care, compared to 75 per cent of larger fleet managers.

What’s more, only 56 per cent of smaller fleet managers have a risk management programme in place – now that’s not much better than half is it really?

In small fleets of fewer than 100 vehicles, only 33 per cent of the operators consider driver training to be important, and 25 per cent have no definitive plans to ensure that their drivers are adequately trained in the future.

These figures are in contrast with larger fleet managers, where only 13 per cent don’t have a solution to driver training or plans for the future.

It appears that some small fleet managers are forsaking safety and driver training as a way of cutting costs but it’s a false economy considering the many obvious repercussions. UK fleet commercial leader of GE Capital Fleet Services, Gary Killeen, argued that “an effective duty of care programme can be as much about delivering cost savings as it is about health and safety”.

Fleet managers have so many tough decisions to make, especially when times are hard and those budgets just don’t seem to be going as far as they used to.  But we are astounded that a basic duty of care is being overlooked by so many, and hope that the report will bring the message home to those people before they have to pay the ultimate price.

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