LOCAL supermarket chain E H Booth & Co was offered 10 places on an innovative driver-training course in a recent draw run by Lancashire County Council.
Drivers from all parts of the company received the chance to attend a driver awareness course as part of Lancashire County Council Road Safety Group's "Drive it Forward" initiative.
Terry Tracey, Booth's company safety officer, received the offer after responding to a questionnaire for managers on the "Drive it Forward" Network.
"Road safety is paramount to us as a business. We all found the course very helpful and it increased our awareness of road safety matters.
"Everyone felt the lessons we learned have improved our driving skills, especially those who had been driving for many years. We were able to learn and appreciate the new methods of using gears and braking.
"Some of the staff were heard to remark afterwards that they had always thought themselves to be a good driver, but this course showed them that they had much to learn.
"I think the course would be advantageous to other company car and van drivers and would have the benefit of increasing road safety awareness and therefore lower the risk of accidents occurring in this group."
Neil Cunliffe, Road Safety Group manager, said:
"We want companies to realise that managing occupational road risk should be high on their agenda. Anyone who drives for business purposes opens up the company to increased liability.
"Companies should ensure their drivers are properly trained to manage the ever-changing road environment. The Drive it Forward initiative draws on issues such as inappropriate speed, driver fatigue and the use of mobile phones, highlighting how control measures can be implemented to reduce risk."
The aim of the questionnaire was to find out how companies had developed their road risks policies since the launch of Drive it Forward in 2002.
Neil valued the comments from the questionnaire. He said:
"As well as giving invaluable feedback about the initiative in its current phase, the comments received will be used to plan future activity."
If you are interested in signing up to "Drive it Forward", please see www.driveitforward.co.uk and go to "Join the Managers' Network.' Or if you would like to find out more about the Road Safety Group and the driver awareness course please see www.lancashireroadsafety.co.uk
Notes for Editors
Photo shows staff from Booths with approved driving instructors Val Kay, far left, and Chris Pursey, far right.
Companies signing up to "Drive it Forward" receive:
A quarterly e-update
A company action guide
and access to the Managers' Forum
The prize draw was only open to those companies who have signed up to "Drive it Forward" and completed the evaluation.
For further information please contact: Neil Graham on 01772 531095