Road safety week 21st – 27th November 2016

The role of employers

DrivingThe annual national Road Safety Week returns from 21 to 27 November. Coordinated by road safety charity Brake and sponsored by Specsavers, the initiative is this year asking people to ‘Make the Pledge’ to drive less and do everything they can to protect themselves and the people around them. The pledge is relevant to everyone, whether they are drivers or not, and Specsavers Corporate Eyecare is highlighting the particular area where employers can make a difference.

Brake’s pledge asks everyone to be Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable. The vital area for employers is in ensuring their employees are able to stay Sharp. This part of the pledge covers making sure that all drivers have their eyesight tested at least every two years, which is where employers can definitely make a difference.

Driving for work purposes comes under health and safety regulations in the same way as all ‘at work’ activities. This is true whether an employee’s main role is driving or if they only make occasional work trips. The employer should, therefore, already be making certain that all employees’ vision is up to the task and the only way of truly knowing this is to implement a driver eyecare policy.

Jim Lythgow, director of strategic alliances at Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, said: ‘We support Brake’s initiatives and are deeply involved in Road Safety Week. We have worked hard to make it as easy as possible for employers to implement an eyecare policy for drivers. We hope that this year’s Road Safety Week may spur employers into action to make available eyecare that, strictly speaking, they should already be providing.’

eVouchers for driver eyecare make it simple for employers to feel secure that their responsibilities are being met. They require virtually no administration and are very cost-effective, particularly considering the cost to both the employer and the employee should an accident occur.

Employers can find out more, make their pledge, and encourage employees to do the same at: www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/pledge

More information on driver eyecare can be found at: www.specsavers.co.uk/corporate

The details of the pledge are:

Slow

Drivers – I'll stay under limits, and slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops to protect others. I'll slow right down for bends, brows and bad weather, and avoid overtaking.
Everyone – I'll speak out for slowing down and help drivers understand that the slower they drive, the more chance they have of avoiding a crash and saving a life.

Sober

Drivers – I'll never drive after drinking any alcohol or taking drugs – not a drop, not a drag.
Everyone - I'll plan ahead to make sure I, and anyone I'm with, can get home safely and I'll never get a lift with drink/drug drivers. I'll speak out if someone's about to drive on drink or drugs.

Secure

Drivers – I'll make sure everyone in my vehicle is belted up on every journey, and kids smaller than 150cm are in a proper child restraint. I'll choose the safest vehicle I can and ensure it's maintained.
Everyone – I'll belt up on every journey, and make sure friends and family do too.

Silent

Drivers – I'll never take or make calls or texts when driving. I'll put my phone out of sight and on silent, and stay focused on the road.
Everyone – I'll never chat on the phone to someone else who's driving.

Sharp

Drivers – I'll get my eyes tested every two years and wear glasses or lenses at the wheel if I need them. I'll take regular breaks and never drive if I'm tired, stressed or on medication that affects driving.
Everyone – I'll look out for friends and loved ones by ensuring they only drive if they're fit for it, and rest if they're tired.

Sustainable

Everyone – I'll minimise the amount I drive, or not drive at all. I'll get about by walking, cycling or public transport as much as I can, for road safety, the environment and my health.