With 2.1 million speeding offences recorded in 2018, speeding accounted for 85% of all motoring offences according to Home Office data. And Brake figures show that just a 1% increase in speed equates to a 4% increase in the chance of fatality.
Speeding risk is something everyone must take seriously. We have blogged before about the focus that businesses must put on health and safety in the workplace. Particularly when it comes to one of the most dangerous occupations: driving. And this is true in relation to speeding given the potential for devastating outcomes.
If you manage a team of drivers, have a fleet of vehicles or employ anyone who drives for work then understanding speeding risk, the penalties and consequences for both individuals and your business will be vital to managing behaviours and putting a speeding risk management policy in place.
What are the personal consequences of speeding?
Being caught speeding brings a wide range of penalties. The minimum penalties for those caught speeding include
- A £100 fine; and
- 3 penalty points added to your licence
- Potential disqualification from driving if you build up 12 or more penalty points within a 3-year period
The penalty that a driver will face when caught speeding depends on the seriousness of the offence according to the Sentencing Council. This is typically driven by the amount above the speeding limit that the individual was caught doing. The more serious the offence, the higher the fine, the number of points and the possibility for disqualification.
Courts will also take into account other factors to determine the seriousness of the offence. And use these to adjust the sentence upwards or down.
In relation to driving for work, the following are some of the factors considered aggravating factors in relation to speeding:
- Driving a LGV, HGV, PSV etc.
- Carrying passengers or a heavy load
- Driving for hire or reward
Where the speeding offence results in the causing of injury or fatality sentences will be harsher. And could see the individual face prosecution and imprisonment.
Speeding offences can also lead to other consequences for the individual – loss of job, inability to obtain insurance etc.
What are the corporate consequences of speeding?
Again, there are wide ranging consequences for your business if someone that you employ is caught speeding. Particularly if the speeding offence results in injury or fatality.
The most serious offences can result in prosecution in areas such as gross negligence manslaughter or corporate manslaughter. And sentencing guidelines suggest that, if as a business you are found to not have met health and safety legislation standards, responsible directors can face imprisonment and the business as a whole can expect significant fines.
Other consequences can include damage to your brand reputation, potential business closure, and an impact on your ability to obtain insurance.
Why it is important to have a speeding policy in place?
As a business you must show that you are adequately managing risks linked to driving for work and comply with Health and Safety legislation.
One way to achieve this is to implement a separate ‘Speeding Policy’. This should give very clear and understandable guidance with regards to speeding. As well as setting our clear responsibilities for individuals.
- Train all of your staff using your policy (on an ongoing basis. Not just as a one-off)
- Ensure that all staff are fully aware of and understand legislation relating to speeding, the penalties and consequences that can be faced if they are caught speeding
- Train your managers to ensure competency
- Keep records to show how you have trained and implemented your policy
- Review your policy annually and update when needed e.g. if new legislation comes into force
What impact has Covid-19 had on speeding risk?
Figures show that the Met Police recorded a 71% increase in drivers caught speeding in London during the Coronavirus lockdown. With many other police forces across the county also reporting a rise in speeding offences. This indicates a focus on speeding risk management is key at this time.
With reduced traffic on the roads, higher incidences of speeding being recorded and some drivers having reduced driving activity over recent months, as a fleet manager it is important to be aware of these factors and the dangers they may present. Focus on driver road safety and your duty of care. And do not neglect your legal responsibilities as you manage the return to work.
At Anthony Jones we not only help you understand and address your insurance needs. We can also work with you to help improve your risk profile and put risk management measures in place. We also work in association with DAC Beachcroft and are able to help you to understand how to draft and implement a Driving Policy for your business. Your insurance broker should do more for your business than just arrange your insurance. Talk to Anthony Jones today about the difference we can make to your business.