ESB's commercial fleet consists of almost 2,000 vehicles, travelling 64 million km annually, in addition to 3,000 ESB staff driving private vehicles a total of 19 million km on ESB business annually. Studies show that people who drive company cars have between 30% and 40% more collisions than ordinary drivers and this risk increases for those who drive more than 40,000 kilometers a year. Recognising that driving for work is a significant risk in ESB the 'Safe Driving Bureau' was established in 2004.
Two safe driving programmes, 'Safe Driving - It's My Responsibility' and 'Achieving Road Safety Excellence', focused on the areas of driver training, awareness, collision reduction and cost reduction have since been implemented.
The RSA and HSA have developed very informative 'Driving for Work' guidelines which assist employers to manage their staff's safety on the roads. The guidelines provide an overview of legislation, how to carry out risk assessments and highlight the significant benefits for businesses and the wider community when work related road safety is managed effectively. The guidelines are available free of charge from both the RSA and the HSA.
The programmes have seen significant results. The number of fleet vehicles involved in serious collisions has dropped by 60% since the programme was introduced.
ESB has been recognised for its commitment to the promotion of safe driving, receiving a European Transport Safety Council Award in May 2011.
The impact of better driver training doesn’t just stop at work, so while we are pleased at the success of the programme in reducing the level of serious collisions relating to our fleet, we are also certain that it has reduced the number of accidents and incidents in which ESB staff are involved while driving during leisure hours.