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Dangerous fleets in focus as Brake reveal 2013 conference will tackle driver impairment

By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 - 13:00

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ImpairedDriving

DANGER: Drink, drugs, tiredness and bad eyesight

Road safety charity Brake are urging fleet professionals to attend their Fit to Drive conference, to help combat impaired driving.

Sponsored by Draeger, the September conference will tackle the key issue of driving while impaired through fatigue, poor eyesight or the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The conference will see expert speakers share the latest research on the dangers of impaired driving.

It will also provide professionals with advice on implementing successful interventions through effective campaigning, education and enforcement.

Ellie Pearson, Senior Professional Engagement Officer at Brake, said: “Impaired driving, whether through drink and drugs, fatigue, or poor eyesight, poses a huge risk to the lives of all road users.

“It is crucial that road safety and fleet professionals properly understand these risks and take all possible steps to eradicate them.

“I would recommend the Fit to drive conference to anyone with a professional interest in road safety who wants to make a difference in their community or workplace.”

Dr Kim Wolff, of King’s College London and Chair of the Department for Transport’s expert drug driving panel is one of the speakers.

She will discuss the panel’s findings and recommendations as reported in March 2013, as well as its direct implications for road and fleet safety practitioners.

Yvonne Taylor, Roads Policing Officer with North Yorkshire Police and PhD student at the University of Leeds Institute for Transport Studies, will also address.

She will present her research into driver fatigue among shift workers, as well as discussing drivers’ awareness of and attitudes to the issue.

Mark Burrup, Regional Focus Group Manager of Diagnostics, at Draeger Safety UK Ltd said: “Draeger Safety UK is proud to be associated with Brake and the great work they do to raise awareness of road safety issues.

“We are very happy to be sponsoring the Fit to Drive conference.

“We work to create diagnostic equipment that accurately tests for substances that can impair drivers and have a long history of helping law enforcement professionals to test drivers who may be impaired by alcohol, being the first company in the UK to receive type approval on a breathalyser.

“Draeger Safety UK also recently received the first Home Office type approval for drug testing for cannabis, and police forces across the UK will soon be using the Dräger DrugTest 5000 to enforce new laws surrounding driving under the influence of cannabis.

“We would encourage all organisations interested in enforcing anti-drink and drug driving policies for employees to attend the conference.”

More than 8% of UK road deaths in 2011 were caused by drivers impaired by alcohol.

Meanwhile, 57% of respondents to a recent Brake survey of fleet operators stated they don’t test drivers for alcohol; 63% stated they don’t test for illegal drugs.

Driver fatigue and poor driver eyesight are also devastating risks, which could easily be eliminated by changing driver attitudes and behaviour.

The seminar will take place on Tuesday 17 September 2013 at Sedgley Park Centre, Manchester.

Places cost £90 (plus VAT) for Brake subscribers and £136 (plus VAT) for non-subscribers.

Book online or contact Brake on admin@brake.org.uk or 01484 559909.

Image courtesy of dickie pea, with thanks.

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