Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Freight Transport Association Calls For Code Of Conduct For Van Drivers

The End of White Van Man?
Shipping News Feature

UK – He may be an infamous icon, but now it appears that the legendary bad-tempered and foul-mouthed White Van Man is under threat as the UK’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) calls on the road haulage industry to introduce a self-regulatory code of conduct for the nations van drivers.

With three million vans on British roads the FTA believes that the establishment of a comprehensive and realistic code of conduct will benefit businesses, the environment and other road users.

The “Van Excellence Code”, which the FTA has created with a number of fleet operators, is intended to share and formalise working practices that are already used by leading companies in the sector.

Its aim is to provide mandatory and audited parameters for all aspects of van operations including key areas such as driver behaviour, vehicle safety/maintenance and risk assessed operating methods.

Richard White, the FTA’s Van Project Leader, said: “Businesses and consumers rely heavily on the van industry, which already boasts many shining examples of well-honed and proven van working practices. Using that knowledge and having formalised an agreed code of conduct, it is now a question of getting accord from all van operators, large and small.”

With backing and input from some of the largest van fleet operators in the UK, such as DHL and the Royal Mail, as well as commitment from van makers Mercedes, Ford and Nissan, the FTA says that they are confident that the Code will set the standard for future working practices.

Signatories to the Code will follow tried and tested operating procedures to improve safety levels, reduce environmental impact and promote professionalism.

White added that: “As an industry we have the knowledge, the will to improve and the belief in self-regulation that is needed to make the Van Excellence Code work and it will provide those inside and outside the sector with a clear set of standards by which they should expect all vans to be operated.

"By seizing this initiative the sector can help to forge a greener, safer and more professional future.”