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Our latest Newsletter for July 2020

July 2020:  NL5 


Welcome to our July Newsletter:


July brings several changes in the restrictions we have been living under these last few months. A reduction in the 2-metre rule, opening of second homes, the opening of Restaurants and Bars (still with some restrictions in place) and a population that is behaving differently. Some are angry, some relieved, some impatient others are nervous. The experience we have been living though has made a lot of people behave differently.  There are a number of articles within this Newsletter about Driver Behaviour, Junction 17 are happy to work with clients to help them address the Road risk exposure they may face.


During the lockdown our roads were safer and the road death rates fell. We had adjusted to a slower pace of life very quickly. We are now beginning to use vehicles again and traffic volumes are increasing quite rapidly. It has been suggested that we will have returned to the old normal volumes of traffic by the end of this month. We need to adjust and think about what we are doing as we return to the tasks that were so common place, and part of our normal day to day work just a few months ago.

During the lockdown there has been an increase in cycle use and walking. These levels will reduce again as we return to work but probably not back to the levels we experienced before March of this year. There has been a change of approach by a lot of people. We need to take account of these subtle changes and ensure we build them into our driving plans as we return to driving. Our driving skills will have become a little rusty during the lockdown. We must take note of this in ourselves and others.


Keeping a safe distance is very important in maintaining safety, two metres in the case of social distancing, two seconds when we are diving. These control measures work in preventing deaths in our society, the moment these distances are reduced we need to have other measures in place. Junction 17’s portfolio of training courses has been designed to help our client’s and their employees keep abreast of new regulations and refresh knowledge and understanding in their on road and driving tasks. We can help to strengthen your Road Risk exposure. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for further information or advice about the training products we have on offer.


This month also sees us moving back to phased deliveries of training face to face. We will maintain our ability to deliver training remotely for those that prefer this method and where classroom deliveries are not possible in certain venues.


Delivery of Classroom based Training under Covid – 19 conditions

Junction 17 Defensive Driver training Ltd. are preparing to return to classroom delivery of training. However, the Covid 19 pandemic has meant that our deliveries will have to follow different and strict protocols. We require your assistance if we are delivering training at your premises or venues. Any agreed training assumes that government restrictions are adhered to, if an area is subsequently placed under a further lockdown then training will be cancelled.

For the remainder of 2020 and onwards until the risk levels for Covid 19 reduce we will require clients to provide the following measures and levels of equipment if we are delivering training at their premises or venues these measures are for the protection of our training team, your staff and anyone attending the training.


  • The training room must have through air ventilation
  • Numbers attending courses will be strictly limited to room size and the capability of the room supporting the training being delivered. It must comply with government guidelines of social distancing.
  • Seating/desks must be set out to meet government guidelines concerning social distancing. Ideally at 2-metre distances; if this is reduced to 1 metre plus as currently permitted, then delegates will be expected to wear face coverings throughout the training.
  • Seating and desks must be cleaned and sanitised before the attendance of the training team and delegates.
  • Delegates will be expected to provide their own PPE (face masks, gloves etc) pens and note book.
  • Delegates who do not wear face coverings where the seating/desk arrangements are set below the 2-metre rule at 1 metre plus would be asked leave the training.
  • A quantity of hand sanitiser wipes must be made available for the delegates to use during the training period and dispensers left in the training room for this purpose
  • Any welfare facilities must be cleaned and available for the use of the delegates and training team.


If you are interested in booking face to face training please give our office a call, we will happily provide further details of how we will deliver the training and provide risk assessments of how this will be delivered safely to all concerned.


The following pages contain several articles referred to earlier, you may wish to reflect on these when developing your own Road Risk Strategies as our return to work gathers momentum.



Below is an article from the IOSH magazine (9th June 2020) written by James Pomeroy


9th June 2020


As the lockdown continues to ease and furloughed employees return to work, more of us will resume driving for work and commuting. James Pomeroy considers the indirect increase in road deaths due to people avoiding public transport during the pandemic.

With large groups of individuals not having driven significantly for many weeks and the road network scheduled to get busy, organisations should consider how the driving risks that their workers face may have changed as a result of the pandemic, and what measures they should take. This is important because for many businesses, driving is one of the most significant safety risks they face, and the rates of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads has increased in recent years.


With the government currently advising people to avoid public transport to enable social distancing, employees who typically use trains, tubes and buses to get to work may start driving for all or part of their journey. The increased road use could result in higher levels of congestion and air pollution, and potentially a rise in road accidents and fatalities.

Risk does not operate in a vacuum and the well-intentioned advice to avoid public transport, could have unintended consequences. For example, in the 12 months following 9/11, the understandable fear of flying led to a 20% decline in US airline passengers as many Americans opted to drive. The switch to roads resulted in an estimated 1,600 additional road deaths in the following year. 

Given that surveys indicate that many UK workers are planning to follow the advice and avoid public transport, more people driving on busier roads may result in employees working longer days and increase levels of fatigue. Organisations should therefore consider the direct and indirect impact of such developments and how occupational road safety policies and fatigue management programmes may need to adapt. 


Over the coming weeks, many employees who have been working from home for several months or on furlough will resume driving for work, while others will go back to their daily commute. This will see many employees getting back behind the wheel after several months of limited driving.  Whether employees are driving for work or commuting, as they return to the workplace, many will need to re-learn many of the tacit skills, habits and behaviours that keep them safe behind the wheel. Organisations should consider providing refresher training and guidance on safe driving techniques within their return to work training, particularly for employees whose work involves driving. This could include inspecting and checking vehicles that may not have been used for many weeks. 


As workers get back behind the wheel, they may experience a different driving environment. To encourage social distancing, many local authorities are stepping-up their sustainability programmes and reallocating road space in cities to pedestrians and cyclists. This could mean narrower roads, higher rates of congestion and consequently longer and more stressful journeys.

The roads may also be busier as research indicates that many people with short commutes are looking to cycle or walk more. This is great news for sustainability and wellbeing, but could have implications for road safety, particularly given that over half the fatalities on UK road involve cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians. This is not just an issue for those driving in the cities – it’s worth noting that nearly 60% of all road fatalities occur on rural roads. The combination of reduced road capacity and an increase in vulnerable road users could change the nature of the driving experience and the occupational road risk many organisations face. 


Changes within the workplace and to working patterns may also indirectly impact driving safety. To maintain social distancing, employers are separating teams, and introducing staggered shifts and longer working days. The impact of working longer and more compressed working shifts could increase levels of fatigue, a well-known precursor to driving accidents.

The recent prosecution of Renown Consultants by the Office of Rail and Road is a timely reminder of the importance of fatigue management. The prosecution involved the tragic death of two contractors who died in a road accident that was attributed to inadequate rest periods. With studies indicating that sleep-related vehicle accidents account for a fifth of UK vehicle accidents and a quarter of fatal and serious accidents, the Renown case reminds us that an organisation’s obligation to manage rest periods and driving hours does not stop during a pandemic. 

With the virus continuing to dominate the work of the OHS profession, it’s important that we do not overlook some of the more conventional risks such as driving, many of which present a significant risk to our workers and the public. It’s equally important that we allow for the implications of the changes that we are having to make in our workplaces so that they do not increase risks elsewhere within our organisations. As Newton’s Third Law advises, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. 

James Pomeroy is group health, safety, environment and security director at Lloyd's Register






(15th May 2020)


The crash scene on the A1 near Newark. – Image credit: ORR

A contractor has been ordered to pay £750,000 in fines and costs for failing to ensure two of its workers were sufficiently rested to work and travel safely after they were killed in a crash on the A1 near Newark.

Zac Payne, 20, and Michael Morris, 48, died on 19 June 2013 when Zac fell asleep at the wheel of his work van while driving back to Doncaster after a night shift in Stevenage. His employer, Renown Consultants Ltd, had instructed the men to take on an extra job following a request from Network Rail without considering whether it had sufficiently rested employees.

Nottingham Crown Court was told that 20-year-old Zac, and Michael, 48, died on 19 June 2013 when Zac fell asleep at the wheel of the work van and came off the motorway, crashing into a parked van, while driving back to Doncaster after a night shift in Stevenage. He had been awake for around 26 hours.

The previous day Zac had left Doncaster at 4.30am and driven to Alnmouth, Northumberland, arriving at 7.30am to carry out work on the railway. The expected work did not take place, so after waiting until midday Zac started the drive back to Renown’s Doncaster depot, arriving at 3pm.

On his way to the depot he was asked to take on an overnight railway welding job in Stevenage and, in company with Michael, they set off from the depot at 7.18pm arriving at the site at 9.47pm.

The two men then undertook welding jobs from 11.15pm leaving the site once they had finished at 3.40am. The crash occurred at around 5.30am as Zac was driving back to Doncaster.

Nottingham Crown Court was told Zac, who like his colleague was employed on a zero-hours contract, was suffering the effects of fatigue and may have fallen asleep at the wheel or experienced ‘microsleeps,’ which hugely increased the risk of a traffic accident.


The court was told that Network Rail had asked Renown for an additional welding team for the Stevenage job at 7.30am on 18 June and Renown had accepted the job before considering if it had sufficient well-rested employees and before speaking to Zac

Renown did not follow its own fatigue management procedures, nor did it comply with the working time limits for safety critical work, such as welding, which insist there should be a ‘minimum rest period of 12 hours between booking off from a turn of duty to booking on for the next’, and it did not conduct a sufficient and suitable risk assessment of Zac’s fatigue.

He was also permitted to drive, despite the company’s insurance policy that stipulated only over 25s may drive their vehicles, and heard evidence from other members of staff that the policy was routinely flouted.

The Office of Rail and Road's (ORR) investigation found that Renown’s policies and procedures were particularly inadequate because employees were on zero hours contracts, and these contracts created an obvious incentive for employees to volunteer for work when they were too tired as they were only paid for the shifts they worked. This was made worse as Mr Payne, and other trainee welders, were reliant on Renown for securing the qualifications they needed to qualify as welders, which discouraged them for refusing shifts.

This is the first time that ORR has brought a prosecution in relation to failures of fatigue management.

In March, Renown Consultants was found guilty of failing to discharge its duty under sections 2 and 3 of the Health and Safety at Work Act and regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations and was therefore guilty of an offence contrary to Section 33 of the Act.


Earlier this week (Wednesday 13 May), the firm was ordered to £150,000 for each of the three breaches, plus £300,000 in costs. The sentence was passed virtually by Judge Nigel Graham Godsmark sitting at Nottingham Crown Court.

In summing up, the judge said Renown’s gravest failing was to perform a suitable and sufficient risk assessment on the day before the fatalities, which led to the company failing to comply with its own fatigue management procedures, nor did it comply with the working time limits for safety critical work, such as welding and trackside work, which insist there should be a ‘minimum rest period of 12 hours between booking off from a turn of duty to booking on for the next.

'Operations and managers knew what they were supposed to do in relation to fatigue but lip service was paid to these systems,' he added. 'Senior operations cut corners and I found blindness at Doncaster in relation to people driving to and from jobs.

'This failure to take seriously was reflected in [Renown’s] attitude and wilful failure of its no under 25 policy. In regard to those breaches to fatigue falling far short…I consider this a serious and systemic failure by Renown.'

Referring to the Sentencing Guideline, HHJ Godsmark indicated that he considered the culpability to be high in that there was 'a wilful failure to enforce the no under 25 driving policy, and the company's fatigue management fell far short of the appropriate standard and were allowed to occur over a period of time'.

He went on to state that the likelihood of death or serious injury arising from the risk was also high: 'A sleepy driver on a long drive home puts himself at serious risk. I cannot move up the harm category so I must consider the starting point.'

The court was told the firm's turnover was in the £2-£10m category, so is therefore a small business, and the starting point would be £250,000. However, as two men died and the public were put at risk, he set the starting point at £500,000.

He outlined mitigating factors; Renown changed its policy immediately after the accident, and had a good health and safety record with no previous convictions, and so reduced the fine to £450,000.

He said the firm's turnover was £6m last year, and so the fine was reasonable, even when taking into account what he called 'the COVID factor'. 

'The suggestion is that turnover has reduced by some 27% since the pandemic began. However I am not persuaded that this is permanent. Railway workers are key workers. Industry is finding ways to work with the restrictions. The fine is appropriate.'

He gave the firm two and a half years to pay the penalty.

Ian Prosser, chief inspector of railways, said the case shows the fatal consequences that can occur when fatigue policies are disregarded.

'We hope this has acted as a reminder to companies that safety comes first and fatigue policies should be enforced to ensure their workforce is not too tired to work,' he said.






13th March 2020

  1. Image credit | Getty

Eighteen measures to improve safety on smart motorways, including the removal of dynamic hard shoulders, have been announced in a government review following nationwide criticism.

So-called ‘smart’ motorways hit the headlines recently after the BBC’s Panorama programme questioned how safe they really are.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps

Smart motorways, where the hard shoulder is turned into a live lane, have been criticised because refuge areas are spaced too far apart and drivers who break down can be trapped in speeding traffic. Some breakdown organisations have instructed roadside technicians not to stop on smart motorways amid increasing safety concerns after it was revealed a number of workers died last year.

In its newly-published report, the Department for Transport (DfT) acknowledges that dynamic hard shoulder running has ‘the potential to cause confusion for motorists’. As such, hard shoulders on these roads will be converted into permanent running lanes, meaning there won’t be a hard shoulder at all.

Emergency Refuge Areas (ERAs), which drivers are supposed to pull into if they suffer a breakdown, will be installed no more than one mile apart on any new stretches of smart motorway, while the aim will be to have them at an average of 0.75 miles apart. The 0.75-mile refuge area rule will also apply to existing stretches of smart motorway where possible.

According to a Freedom of Information request by the BBC to Highways England, 38 people have died on smart motorways in the past five years. It is the first time that the total number of deaths has been reported.

Other measures announced to improve safety include:

  • Speeding up the deployment of stopped vehicle detection technology to cover the network within the next three years, allowing problems to be spotted within 20 seconds and lanes to be closed more quickly.
  • Faster attendance by more Highways England traffic officer patrols on smart motorways.
  • Reducing the distance between places to stop in an emergency to three quarters of a mile where feasible, and to a maximum of one mile.
  • Building 10 more emergency areas on the M25 where there has been a higher rate of breakdown.
  • Making emergency areas more visible with a bright orange surface, and better signed.
  • A £5 million campaign to increase public awareness and knowledge of smart motorways.
  • Automatic detection of and enforcement action against drivers ignoring the red “X” sign in closed lanes.

Highways England – the public body Ih runs the UK’s Strategic Road Networks of motorways and major A roads – has also been asked by the DfT to install Stopped Vehicle Detection (SVD) technology across the smart motorway network within the next 36 months. This technology is able to quickly detect any cars that stop in a live lane, automatically alerting Highways England staff.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps said there is more still to do to raise safety standards on smart motorways.

‘The extended package of measures I have set out will help rebuild public confidence in our motorway network and ensure that safety is firmly at the heart of the programme,’ he added.



24th October 2019

With a quarter of drivers stating that they have been involved in an accident or collision going from or returning to work, or during a work related journey, the findings show that there’s still a long way to go before work-related causes of road accidents are eradicated, putting a spotlight firmly on employers’ duty of care.

Mark Roberts, founder and chief executive of Lightfoot, commented: “Work-related stress resulting in road accidents should be a red flag for all businesses operating company cars and fleet vehicles. Policies need to be in place to reduce unreasonable pressure on drivers as businesses have a duty of care to their staff. If they fail in this respect, there could be serious consequences for both employees and businesses.

“Our findings show that, all too often, staff are under pressure to get to a client, customer or meeting in unrealistic time-frames, resulting in stress and over-speeding. Unsurprisingly, that pressure – even when indirect – leads to accidents.

“Addressing this issue is no easy task, but businesses can empower their staff through technology such as Lightfoot that actively encourages and enables smoother, safer driving. Only when businesses actively make a commitment to protecting their staff by making over-speeding or risky driving unacceptable, will drivers feel less pressure.

“Fail to do this and staff are at risk of feeling pressured to drive in a manner that has the potential to put them, their passengers and other motorists on the road at risk. With one in three road deaths involving a vehicle being driven for work, this is an issue that fleet managers need to take seriously.”

Lightfoot empowers drivers to avoid hazardous driving by providing drivers with real-time feedback that keeps them in the smooth spot of the engine, helping to dramatically cut the incidence of accidental over-speeding, erratic or aggressive driving.

Mark explains: “Businesses that buy in to Lightfoot, are making a commitment to their staff that they expect and encourage smooth and safe driving. Becoming part of the culture of the business, drivers are mandated to drive sensibly, which means that managers have to plan realistic timeframes for journeys, making it their first thought, rather than the last. In this one act, drivers are relieved of much of the stress that can lead to dangerous driving.

“Moreover, through Lightfoot’s reward package, drivers are actively encouraged to become ‘Elite Drivers’. Only those achieving a Lightfoot score of 85%+ (the Elite Driver standard) have the opportunity to enter into draws to win cash through The Drivers’ Lottery, or prizes ranging from hotel breaks to the latest consumer technology devices.”

Up to now, telematics technologies that track drivers and use retrospective, or ‘after-the-incident’, data to inform driver feedback and coaching have been off limits in company cars as employees won’t accept being tracked by their company.

Lightfoot helps company car drivers to become smoother, safer drivers without tracking them. It does this through a mix of visual and audible alerts – delivering live engine performance data directly from the engine to Lightfoot’s pocket-sized dashboard display – guiding the driver to a better, safer and more efficient style of driving. Its users typically see drops in at-fault accidents by up to 40%, reductions in fuel costs by up to 20%, falls in harmful emissions by 20%, and cuts in wear and tear costs by 45%.

Considered revolutionary in the fleet management and telematics worlds, Lightfoot’s disruptive approach to reducing accidents has been adopted by some of the largest players in the market, including Virgin Media, Greencore, and South West Water.

To learn more about Lightfoot, and its rewards-based technology, visit:



14th November 2018


Telematics is a combination of hardware installed in a vehicle and wireless data transmission that collects information on how safely someone is driving. There are many systems available, but all can record longitudinal and lateral movements -- including braking, acceleration and steering -- and location, using global positioning system data, to monitor speeding violations.

Telematics data lets organisations analyse and improve journey planning and safety performance and provide drivers with evidence-based feedback and coaching. The systems allow employers to reward drivers' compliance and good performance and to sanction repeated and deliberate non-compliance.

But these systems are not cheap and senior managers will want evidence that telematics can improve fleet safety. Studies in the late 1990s associated their use with reductions in crashes of up to 30%. More recently, reductions of 40% to 90% have been achieved by companies using telematics to underpin wider fleet risk management programmes. This evidence suggests that telematics is best used with interventions to modify problem behaviour reported by the system rather than in isolation as a monitoring tool.


The way you deploy a telematics system will determine its effectiveness and driver acceptance. Like any initiative, it should be led by senior management to show employees it is important to the organisation. Deployment should start with the leaders and middle management to demonstrate their commitment. There are other core elements associated with successful implementations.

  • Decide the key performance indicators or goals to focus on, based on an analysis of the organisation's incidents. What type of incidents are you most concerned about? How can you make sure your telematics system monitors the behavioural precursors to these incidents?
  • Develop coaching interventions to reduce these incidents. If your crash analyses show speed is a major factor, you may wish to focus on coaching those who show up in exception reports for speeding and harsh braking.
  • Conduct a pilot study to iron out any problems before you involve the entire workforce. This allows you to check the system is recording the required data accurately. A pilot is also the time when threshold setting for alerts can be finalised, so drivers and managers are not overwhelmed with data. Make sure these thresholds are not so stringent that you designate a high proportion of drivers as high risk, but not so lax that the system detects too little at-risk behaviour.
  • Develop a communication programme to inform drivers about the advantages of the telematics and what you hope to achieve. The communications should highlight at the outset the goal of reducing the number of crashes. The consequences for hazardous behaviour must be defined and communicated clearly so drivers are fully informed about the sanctions for driving at risk.
  • Let drivers voice concerns. Try to predict the questions they are likely to raise and prepare responses.
  • Consider implementing recognition or rewards to incentivise drivers to achieve your fleet safety goals. Rewards can be in the form of letters of appreciation or gift certificates and retail vouchers.
  • Provide the workforce with a clear, written policy on how the system will be used and train your drivers to understand the system's uses and misuses.

The baseline data can be used to monitor the effectiveness of your fleet risk management programme. Comparing crash rates per million kilometres driven over similar periods is the most common metric used. Once telematics data has been collected and a baseline established, you can target interventions. Driver coaching is the most common of these.


After drivers have been trained to use the system and given time to adapt, coaching to address at-risk behaviour can begin.


Depending on their functionality, telematics systems may be used to identify these features of driver behaviour:

  • unsafe reversing
  • unsafe braking
  • unsafe lane change/merging
  • unsafe overtaking
  • unsafe railway crossing
  • unsafe turning
  • lane departure/straddling
  • competitive/aggressive driving
  • driving the wrong way on roadway
  • driving the wrong way off roadway
  • curb mounting
  • driving with two hands off wheel
  • unattended moving vehicle
  • incomplete stop at light
  • failure to attempt to stop at light.

Source: Adapted from Jennifer L Bell et al, Evaluation of an in-vehicle monitoring system to reduce risky driving behaviors in commercial drivers (


The aim is to achieve a sustained behavioural change, so coaching should focus on patterns of driving behaviour rather than on individual incidents. When providing telematics feedback, the coach should encourage the driver to identify problems that prevent them driving safely. Then they can work together to develop goals for further improvement. This approach encourages the driver to own the behaviour that needs to be changed. Follow-up sessions with the coach will focus on reviewing progress against these goals.

The approach has resulted in substantial reductions in safety-critical events across several studies. Research in the US by a team led by Jennifer L Bell (2017) and published in 2017 in the Journal of Safety Research ( evaluated two types of telematics feedback for drivers at two logistics and oil and gas support companies over 24 months, plus a control group. The intervention group received simple feedback about "harsh manoeuvres" from in-cab warning lights in one period and in another they were coached by supervisors after watching video recordings of their risky driving behaviour. (Some telematics systems video the inside of the vehicle and sometimes the immediate traffic environment.)


After coaching, the results showed that risky driving behaviour had declined significantly more during the period with coaching than the one with lights-only feedback and the control group. Lights-only feedback -- when drivers only receive feedback via the technology -- was not found to be significantly different from the control group's decline from baseline. The study also showed that, after feedback was withdrawn from the intervention group, the reduction in risky driving was maintained, and remained significantly different from the control group.

Occasionally, there will be one or two drivers who fail to respond to coaching and persist in violations. Managers need to tackle this, particularly when deliberate violations place the driver and other road users at risk. If a driver shows no sign of improvement even after coaching, disciplinary procedures may have to follow. However, telematics should not be used as a crude policing tool, since it can increase the risk of unintended consequences, such as drivers swerving to avoid penalties associated with harsh braking.


Many telematics algorithms have not been validated against crash involvement; they are designed by software engineers based on subjective measures of at-risk driver behaviour. Traffic psychologists use research to determine whether a measure of driver behaviour is significant. Before procuring a system, it is wise to ask what evidence the supplier has that its algorithms to signal unsafe behaviour are predictive of crash involvement. Without the right measures, high-risk drivers may escape detection.

Telematics offers the opportunity to identify and validate behaviour that may be a precursor to crashes. But fleet and safety managers must understand the most effective ways to use the technology. Implementing telematics alongside a carefully designed management, driver acceptance and educational programme is key to its success.



Junction 17 would be happy to assist you with the development of training packages to support your on-Road Risk Exposures. We offer safety audits to help you identify the exposure you may face please feel free to call and discuss where we may be able to help you.


We hope you found the newsletter of interest and we look forward to working with you again soon. Unfortunately, the virus is still with us for some time to come, lets all do our best to stay safe.