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Fleet operators and haulage organisations start to gear up to meet new procedures

Senior Traffic Commissioner reminds industry of the need for occupational road risk policies

ScreenSafe offer specialist support for fleet operators and hauliers

- There has been a 25% increase in drink-driving related road deaths in 2012
- Over 175,000 drivers will be breathalysed in December
- 1 million drivers have driven over the alcohol limit in the last two years
- Drug driving estimated to be as serious an issue as drink driving
- Laws about to change to help police prosecute more drug-driving offenders
- Fleet operators and haulage organisations start to gear up to meet new procedures

Police Forces throughout the UK are preparing to launch their drink and drug-driving campaigns as the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest.

Dorset Police Force, for example, will release to the media the names and court appearances of all drivers charged with drink or drug driving-related offences during the campaign, and everyone who is involved in a collision during December will be breath tested, irrespective of whether they are suspected of drink-driving or not.

Greater Manchester Police are calling for abstinence not restraint from drivers, calling their campaign ‘None for the Road’.

South Yorkshire Police are urging people to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously if they know of someone who regularly drives with alcohol or drugs in their system.

In July 2013 the Government published a Consultation on Regulations that would provide for the specified limits that would apply to a new drug driving offence. A zero tolerance approach was proposed for eight drugs most associated with illegal use and a ‘road safety risk approach’ was proposed for eight drugs most associated with medical uses.

Matt Taylor, Managing Director of ScreenSafe, says: “Most hauliers strive to run the safest possible fleets, but there’s no immunity for people from becoming addicted simply because their job comprises a high health and safety risk. A drug and alcohol policy, one that includes testing, will seek to educate staff about the risks, as well as act as a deterrent to putting their jobs or indeed lives in jeopardy, through driving whilst under the influence of drugs. We’re very grateful that the Traffic Commissioner has agreed to add her comments too.”

Speaking at a recent industry event Senior Traffic Commissioner, Beverley Bell, said that managing the risks around drink and drug driving should be an urgent priority for all operator licence holders:

“Traffic commissioners are clear about the professional standards we expect to see from HGV, bus and coach drivers – it is not appropriate for any driver to be under the influence of drink or drugs while operating a commercial vehicle. Operators play a key role in this and need to have an occupational road risk policy in place to deal with instances where drink or drug driving is identified.

It is absolutely critical for licence holders to ensure that drivers are aware of the professional standards and the operator’s policy. Licence holders should also plan for the risk of a driver failing to uphold those standards.”

ScreenSafe is the UK’s leading provider of drug and alcohol misuse policies and practices, this month again successfully passing Network Rail’s LinkUp audit for test suppliers, and gaining the National Probation Framework Agreement preferred supplier status. With a decade of experience in supporting organisations to tackle the risks of drug or alcohol misuse, ScreenSafe have recently partnered the Road Haulage Association (RHA) to introduce the ‘RHA Smart Test’ for its members.

This week, ScreenSafe has published a White Paper ‘PREPARE’ which outlines the legal changes and the processes organizations can adopt to be ready for the upcoming changes in the drug driving law.

Any business, fleet or truck operator can access ScreenSafe’s expertise and advice to prepare an appropriate, reliable and fair drugs and alcohol policy.

For a free copy of the white paper, email with ‘PREPARE’ in the subject line, or call 07722282946.

About ScreenSafe -

ScreenSafe are specialists in the provision of legally defendable drug and alcohol testing and ancillary services from policies through to confirmations, service, training and water-tight procedures.

Testing breath, urine, blood, oral fluid and hair, they enable employees to work in a safe environment that is free from drug and alcohol misuse and for healthcare workers to have a clear and accurate perspective of their customers’ substance abuse habits.

ScreenSafe are part of the Ingemino Group, a testing solutions provider trusted by customers to deliver a world class service.

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