Knowing the rules

Written by Ellie

banner-1183382_1920What has 160 pages, contains 307 rules, is based upon 30 different laws that go as far back as 1835, and was updated six times during just the first three months of 2016? Yes, this is the Highway Code. Luckily, there is no legal requirement for anyone to know that.

Now, the less good news. Every single person using the roads on behalf of your organisation is supposed not just to know the Highway Code, but to comply with it at all times. Some of it may not apply immediately to your drivers, rules 1 to 35 relate to pedestrians and rules 47 to 58 refer to animals, for example, and there are other special cases. This does leave 197 separate rules of direct relevance to your drivers, all of which they are supposed to know and obey.

Unsurprisingly, many business drivers are less than fully conversant with the rules of the road. According to a recent study, more than one-third of company car drivers are so ignorant of the Highway Code and basic road laws that they represent a high risk.

You will have checked that each one of your drivers has a valid licence. So, you can be certain that, once upon a time, they must have known enough to pass the driving test. How confident are you that they have not forgotten much of what they learned? How sure can you be that they have kept up to date with all the changes since they discarded their ‘L’ plates?

If you are responsible for company vehicles, that includes responsibility for the manner in which they are driven. You might never find yourself in the dock trying to explain away a lack of driver safety reviews and training. It is possible that none of your drivers will ever cause an accident. Do you feel lucky?

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Posted on 18th August 2016

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