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Prince promotes business safety campaign

Date: 27 July 2007   |   Author: Rupert Saunders

His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent, is urging business leaders to support the Department for Transport's Driving for Better Business campaign to raise road safety standards in the workplace.

The Prince, a long-standing campaigner for road safety, said: "I want to see what the business community can do to make our roads safer, while also making businesses more efficient.

"I realise it's an awful sweat having to comply with red tape, especially health and safety legislation, but I wonder if business leaders realise the scale of the problem. There are 14,000 road deaths and serious injuries a year involving people at work."

The Driving for Better Business campaign, which has been tested with van operators in Cambridge and Devon, will be rolled out to car fleets from September. The aim of the campaign is to get senior executives to become Business Champions for good practice in work-related road safety.

Unlike many road safety campaigns, Better Business focuses on the economic cost of road accidents and the benefits to the business of adopting best practice.

"Businesses which take this route can reap rich rewards: financial, ethical and environmental. They will be recognised as socially responsible employers," said the Prince. "Those who don't run the risk of serious financial loss."

The Driving for Better Business campaign is being managed for the DfT by RoadSafe. Caroline Scurr, programme manager, said it was important that senior executives in a company supported the scheme in order to get a "top-down" commitment.

She said the recent passing of the Corporate Manslaughter Bill into law would help focus minds.

"It is important that business leaders understand the benefits of road safety but, at the back of it, there is always the threat of a policeman standing there able to bring in the legislation," she added.