Jim Kirkwood's blog: 2020 - one of the most influential years on business driving ever
21 December 2020
TTC Group believes that 2020 will go down in history as one of the most influential years on business driving ever - with more significant change still yet to come. Here, CEO Jim Kirkwood explains why.
2020 has been a year blighted by disruption in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which saw workers put on furlough; the adoption of mass home working; and changes in transport behaviours - all of which has had profound implications on business risk management and compliance.
The announcement to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in 2030, under Prime Minister Boris Johnson's 10-point plan to tackle climate change, has also already generated a heightened demand for EVs as well as an uplift in the number of employees reverting to company car policies according to reports.
A year like no other
Without doubt, 2020 has been a year like no other. We believe these past 12 months will have a significant long-term impact on business driving across policies, procedures and practices.
Not only has Covid-19 changed the requirements for many, but so too now comes a clear intent to alter how we impact the environment - the mass adoption of EVs being a key part of that. And already this is altering how businesses and drivers view ownership.
Despite the disruption of Covid-19, according to the Department for Transport's (DfT) Vehicle Speed Compliance Statistics, 2020 witnessed an increase in speeding offences during Q2 with the proportion of cars exceeding the speed limit during the UK lockdown higher than for the equivalent period of 2019.
Together, motorists accrued 1.5 million Driving Licence points during the first half of 2020, despite up to an 80% reduction in traffic volume. This brings with it serious implications for any business, not only due to risk management and duty of care obligations but also the little-known fact that 'cause or permit to drive' legislation means that penalties can be duplicated for fleet managers.
Changed the way people travel
The events of 2020 have changed the way people travel for business, and unfortunately when traffic volumes were down, that often-meant road users exceeding the national speed limits. What this ultimately means - and especially in light of the remote working culture that has now been rapidly adopted - is that all businesses need to have a very keen handle on duty of care and road safety compliance, otherwise it could prove extremely costly.
A different, yet equally relevant impact to stem from 2020 has been the increase in interest in EVs and the impact this is having on company car drivers and business policies.
According to BuyaCar.co.uk, electric vehicle inquiries increased by 500% following the news of the 2030 timeline and leasing company Arval reports that EVs are attracting 'noticeable' numbers of drivers who have previously taken cash options back to company car schemes.
Undoubtedly, 2020 has had a major influence on business driving but clearly there is plenty more change on the horizon.