Are speed restrictors right for your fleet?
Reducing the risk of accidents
One of the big benefits of placing speed restrictors on company vehicles is the reduction in accidents that take place. Looking at some of the statistics recorded back in 2009, 31% of accidents within a four-year period were caused “injudicious action” which means travelling too fast for the conditions. This could be paramount to wet weather or snow, for example. A further 15% of those same accidents were caused due to exceeding the speed limit, and 2% were caused because of speeding up and disobeying road signs such as give way or stop. Speed restrictors placed on vehicles could have helped prevent some of these accidents taking place.
Of course, as a company running a fleet, the main benefit to you would be financial and environmental. You are reducing the risk of liability, insurance premiums and of course could be helping towards saving lives or injury. Which again could be costly in the courts due to the latest claims that are being passed and paid out for.
A reduction in speeding fines
Another financial benefit would be to consider the reduction in speeding fines. So many drivers could use the excuse of not being aware of the speed they are travelling on motorways or highways. Often keeping up with traffic ahead, it can be easy to accelerate beyond the speed legally applied to the road. But, a restrictor in place would ensure that this speed would not be exceeded, especially as the maximum limit you are legally able to drive apply to these roads.
Of course, it may not help when it comes to the lesser roads with lower limits, but many driving these days can take place on some of the biggest motorways and highways in the UK and within the EU. Some of which have much more cameras and speed traps when driving in unfamiliar territory.
Lowering insurance premiums
With the benefit of a speed restrictor reducing a company's liability in regards to speeding and accidents that could potentially take place, this could represent you as being a lower risk customer for your current insurance provider. This could go a long way to reducing insurance premiums if declared.
Being a responsible employer
Many employers requiring drivers will look towards younger applicants. They can be seen as “cheap labour” when it comes to salaries, but the issue is that you are employing inexperienced drivers. Placing a speed restrictor on all vehicles is the very least you can be doing not only to protect your assets but also protecting your employee. This could potentially save you a lot of hassle with HR departments should any driver error occur and you, as a company, didn’t do anything to attempt to protect your driver.
Would there be any issues?
There is an argument to say that a “one size fits all” approach won’t work. However, it may be worth looking at all of the options. There may be issues in regards to drivability. Some drivers may suggest that a speed restrictor will affect their ability to safely drive. For example, overtaking. But it simply means that style just needs to be changed in regards to the care and consideration taking when driving a vehicle with a restrictor in place. Trucks above five tonne have restrictions in place for highways that are set far less than the legal limit for this very reason, while you may find that it can sometimes obstruct driving conditions when two are taking up two lanes, it’s all about adapting the style in which you drive and accepting the limit placed.
It may require some education and training, but overall the financial benefits will far outweigh the issues presented.
An alternative option
The alternative to placing a speed restrictor on a vehicle is to use vehicle tracking software and devices to actively monitor the speed of drivers. This means that you won’t have to undergo the expensive task of implementing restrictors on your vehicle but can still monitor and enforce anti-speeding policy.
Software such as RAM Tracking comes with multiple ways to help reduce speeding across a fleet. Users who have our trackers installed (at an incredibly affordable rate) can receive instant email alerts when one of their drivers has exceeded the speed limit. The software maps out every speed limit on every road in the country meaning that it knows if a driver has done 40 on a 30 mph road, or has exceeded the national speed limit on the motorway.
Having access to this data can often be more effective than speed restrictors because;
- You can open up transparency around speeding across the company with ‘speeding league tables’ to try discourage speeding amongst drivers
- Real-time alerts allow companies to react to speeding offences immediately
- Vehicle tracking software can provide invaluable evidence to prove/disprove speeding offences with the authorities
- Tracking devices can be installed (and even transferred) relatively quickly and easily without having to adjust the mechanics of the vehicle