IAM RoadSmart highlights failure of Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act to bring companies to account for their road safety performance

Posted on 20/09/18 |

As IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s biggest independent road safety charity, relaunches its commercial website, the charity has highlighted the lack of driving-for-work prosecutions under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act (CMCHA) - nobody has ever been sent to jail, or even prosecuted, for contributing to an avoidable death under the legislation.

This fact was included in a new whitepaper commissioned by IAM RoadSmart’s commercial division called ‘The Corporate Manslaughter Act, Ten Years On.’

This is the first of several whitepapers commissioned by IAM RoadSmart, aimed at the business driver community that will be featured on the new site at www.iamroadsmart.com/business

Tony Greenidge, IAM RoadSmart business development director, commented: “Many in the transport and driver risk management arena welcomed the Corporate Manslaughter Act legislation when it was introduced, believing it would make it easier to hold organisations more closely to account for the wellbeing and safety of those engaged in driving for work, with safety benefits for other road-users.

He continued: “A few years ago the fleet industry was buzzing with experts warning companies that if they didn’t implement proper, robust workplace driving policies to safeguard the public and the workforce, they would all be going to jail. It was going to be transformational for road safety.

“Yet no company car driver or senior manager involved in an avoidable death has been anywhere near a prosecution. It seems the legislation has proved difficult to apply.”

The whitepaper also summarises some of the early convictions under the act – none of which relate to driving-at-work.

The IAM RoadSmart analysis concludes that, despite estimates that “more than a quarter” of “all road incidents” involve someone driving, riding or using the road for work, making it the UK’s most dangerous work-related activity, “The Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which should be taking a lead with CMCHA, is not fully engaged with it. We want to see the driving seat seen much more firmly as a place of work, with all that would entail under health and safety legislation.”

Professor Steve Tombs of the Open University said in the whitepaper that corporate manslaughter is “too far down the pecking order” and has no dedicated team at the HSE.

“It has not done what it was designed to do; bring to account large companies. Where the law falls down is in its ability to identify fault in one central headquarters location or with the senior executive. You can always pin it down to the individual man or woman driving. But showing ‘he or she was failing to operate in a way that was required by the company’ is much harder.”

Neil Greig, director of policy and research of IAM RoadSmart added: “If a company director forced someone to drive too many hours in the day, or employed someone who had been banned (from driving) and there was a crash resulting in a fatality, a prosecution would help send a message to businesses that a lot more care needs to be taken in this area.”

To download IAM RoadSmart’s whitepaper ‘The Corporate Manslaughter Act, Ten Years On’ click here: www.iamcommercial.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/IAM-RoadSmart-Whitepaper-CMCHA-Ten-Years-On.pdf


Notes to editors:

Reference 1: HSE ‘Driving at work – Managing work-related road safety’ http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg382.pdf

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IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK’s largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety on their behalf. At any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while our Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart commercial products and services visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com/business                                      

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart’s Driver Retraining Academy visit www.iamdra.org.uk                                

To find out the name of your own local IAM RoadSmart group please visit: https://wwwiamroadsmart.com/local-groups