In light of the impact of the new Sentencing Guidelines, we look at positive steps directors and senior managers in the transport sector can take to avoid a breach in the first instance.
On 21 December 2015, the Department for Transport (“DfT”) made a new road safety statement which set out the government’s vision, values and priorities for improving the safety of Britain’s roads. At the top of the list were proposals for harsher penalties for dangerous in-car mobile phone use, which had been identified by the RAC as one of their greatest concerns.
Tragic incidents such as the Glasgow bin lorry crash highlight the myriad of issues that an employer has to deal with in the wake of a major incident involving one of its employees; issues such as employment recruitment practices, health and safety and even criminal prosecutions typically have to be addressed.
According to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) statistics, every year there are over 5000 accidents involving workplace transport. In September 2014, the HSE released revised guidance: “a guide to workplace transport safety” to provide advice for employers on what they need to do to comply with the law.
The recent comments of Boris Johnson and Stephen Hammond relating to the creation of a Safer Lorry Charge zone and the possible removal of exemptions (under Construction & Use legislation) which currently mean that safety equipment does not need to be fitted on a number of HGVs including construction vehicles has promoted debate amongst the industry with people taking different views.
It has been announced that with immediate effect victims of crime will have the right to a review (VRR) of any decision not to prosecute the accused.
If the Crown Prosecution Service makes the decision not to bring a prosecution, or decides to terminate criminal proceedings after a charge has initially been brought, the victims, which includes bereaved families and the parents of a juvenile, can request a review of the decision. The right does not however extend to those cases not pursued by the Police or dealt with by way of an out-of-court process, such as a remedial course.