[b]General Driving Policy
No driver should use a mobile telephone or any similar piece of telecommunications equipment (whether hand-held or hands free) while driving. Such use is likely to distract the driver from the main task of managing the vehicle in a safe and competent manner and be prejudicial to road safety. Calls should not be made or received while on the move. Ideally, an interlock should be integral in all such equipment so that it is rendered inoperable while the vehicle is moving. Where this is not possible, it is recommended that all telecommunications equipment is switched off while the driver is driving.
Employers are recommended to incorporate this policy within their own rules governing company drivers. Vehicles are intended to transport their occupants and goods to their destination(s) and any temptation to turn vehicles into ‘mobile offices’ should be resisted.
Labelling of Medicines
Medicines - both prescription and over-the-counter, (whether taken alone, in combination or with alcohol) which are likely to have adverse side-effects on road users must be clearly labelled and the effects highlighted by doctors and pharmacists.
Drivers’ Eyesight Tests
For drivers below 55 years of age, there is no proven relationship between poor visual performance and high accident rates. Above 55 years of age there is a weak relationship. The British number plate test requires a better standard of vision than the 6/12 acuity level required in other countries. The proposal that there should be regular vision screening checks as part of the driving licence requirement is not supported.
COMPANY supports a wide scale adoption and use of 20 mph speed limits and zones where beneficial and justified by casualty reduction data. Local authorities are encouraged to adopt the principles of Urban & Rural Safety Management, to help them in implementing their Road Safety Strategy and the LAA’s Road Safety Code of Good Practice. Police speed enforcement should be data-led and target roads with a history of speed related accidents rather than an ad-hoc or public pressure led basis.
COMPANY supports the principle of reducing speed as part of a ‘speed management strategy’ where it can be proven that it will lead to a reduction in mean vehicle speeds and to a reduction in the number of casualties.
COMPANY supports the introduction of trials of the ‘Home Zones / Play Street’ initiatives in the UK, provided that the appropriate legislation, engineering facilities and management systems (including safety audits); and education measures and other essential elements of any project are incorporated.
Stopping on the Hard Shoulder
Stationary vehicles on the hard shoulder have been shown to be at high risk of accident involvement. In the event of an unavoidable stop on the motorway, where possible evacuate all passengers onto the embankment or cutting until assistance arrives. Children should be closely supervised. Pets should remain in the car. Lone female drivers who feel threatened should leave the front passenger door open and re-enter the car if another vehicle stops. All doors should be locked and conversation held through a narrowly opened window until the threat is passed. The risk of an accident on the hard shoulder is far greater than that of an attack. Always use the motorway emergency phones even if a mobile phone is available. The police need to be aware of all stopped vehicles on the hard shoulder and emergency phones aid quick location of breakdowns.
Night Time Driving Glasses
Tinted lenses reduce the amount of light available to the eye and therefore information to the brain. As such they are not recommended for driving at night or in conditions of poor visibility. Advertisements for the use of such glasses as aids to night driving or driving in fog are deplored as they are both inaccurate and misleading. The advice given in the Highway Code advises against their use. The only occasions when such lenses should be used are on the advice or prescription of an optician or ophthalmologist.
Parking and/or driving vehicles on the pavement causes inconvenience and danger to pedestrians. Vehicles obstructing the pavement sometimes force pedestrians to walk on the road, particularly parents who are pushing prams or pushchairs and wheelchair users. Frequent driving and parking on the pavement is also likely to cause damage to the pavement surface which in turn has the potential to cause pedestrians to trip, fall and injure themselves.
A shortage of off-street parking facilities is not an excuse for placing the free flow of traffic or the convenience of the offending driver above the safety of pedestrians.
The use of warning devices (reflective triangles, cones or flashing amber lights) designed to be placed behind a broken down vehicle is a requirement in many countries, and cars are often sold with a warning device included. Some companies supply these devices to their drivers as one way of fulfilling their duty of care to their employees.
The Highway Code advises drivers whose vehicle is causing an obstruction and who carry such a device, to place it "on the road at least 50 metres (164 feet) before the obstruction". However, the provision and use of warning devices is not mandatory in the UK. Nor is there any research concerning their effectiveness.
Broken down vehicles may be difficult to see, especially on rural roads where sightlines are often restricted and the vehicle may be hidden behind a bend in the road. In this situation, an advance warning of the hazard may well be useful.
Nevertheless, COMPANY is concerned that a person placing, or retrieving, a warning device behind a stationary vehicle would be at risk of being hit by a passing vehicle, especially at night or in poor visibility.
When a vehicle breaks down or is otherwise unable to move, the driver should switch on the vehicle’s hazard indicator lights. It is advisable to keep a high visibility jacket, tabard or waistcoat in the vehicle so that it may be worn if necessary. If possible, the vehicle should be moved off the highway. Rules 248 to 252 of the Highway Code should be followed.
Insurance Policies for "Banned" Drivers
COMPANY strongly condemns any insurance products that seek to compensate or provide alternative transport for convicted/banned drivers.
Parking Without Lights
The proposition that vehicles parked at night in roads subject to a speed limit of 30 mph or less should be lit is not supported.