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Toolkit for Van DriversHighways England's Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention team has, for many years, directed its primary attention on the truck sector rather than light commercial vehicles. After all, HGV crashes are the ones that make headlines, cause major problems for road users, and typically involve multiple casualties.

However, as the van sector increases more focus is going to be put on van fleets and van drivers.

Prevention of van accidents is top of the list

Mark Cartwright, head of the Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention team, says in an interview with Van User that the team wishes to focus on accident prevention rather than on enforcement. The team believes driver education for businesses and their van users is key as issues such as bad driving and overloading can be prevented.

As part of the initiative, the Highway's England Driving for Better Business brand has developed a series of Van Driver Toolkits on more than 30 topics including vehicle awareness, driver hours, speed limits and vehicle roadworthiness.

These free resources are available to all businesses; from those with large fleets to SMEs with only one or two van drivers.

Highways England is also promoting van driver wellbeing with resources assisted by CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably); including CALMDriver graphics, videos and leaflets to reinforce the importance of the driver's health as well as the health of the vehicle they are driving.

Enforcement is still key

While Cartwright states that van accident prevention is crucial, he acknowledges that enforcement will still play a fundamental role in Highways England's van-related strategies on the UK's roads.

In May and November, as part of Operations Vertebrae and Orbital respectively, the Highways England DAF tractor units will be loaned to police working on the M6 to act as elevated observation platforms so that officers can see into truck and van cabs more easily and take the kinds of high definition video that will assist them in prosecuting offenders.

Cartwright says that the trucks are not working covertly, their use is well-publicised, and the most common offences caught during such operations are drivers failing to wear seatbelts, and the use of mobile phones and other devices while driving.

Good van driving has lots of benefits

As well as keeping van drivers out of the hands of the law, good van driving habits have other benefits as well. For instance, it helps to keep any driver van insurance costs as low as possible, and reduces overheads associated with bad driving and overloading of vans such as increased tyre ware, axle and suspension damage and increased fuel costs.

If finding cheap van insurance is an important factor for your business, why not try iVan to see if we can reduce the cost of your cover.


Information on the Van Driver Toolkits and CALMDriver initiative are available at: