You never know who is watching? - 16th April 2015

Recent news reports show a video of a customer car being test driven at nearly twice the speed limit following a service, proving that you just never know who is watching you.

The incident in Plymouth happened when a customer booked his car for a service and MOT at Halfords Autocentre. Following the service the mechanic took the car for a test drive and failed to notice an onboard dash cam in the window recording his driving. The video shows him driving in a 30 mph zone at 57mph.

Halfords have stated probably unsurprisingly that “the mechanic was a temporary employee who has been let go”.

There are many things to be considered with this type of incident, particularly for the company involved. Firstly, although shocking for the customer, it could be considered very fortunate that the outcome to this was only a recording on a dash cam. Had it resulted in an accident there would undoubtedly have been a full investigation and maybe Halfords policies would have been questioned. If, as they have stated, this was a temporary employee, what processes were in place to ensure the necessary checks were made on the mechanic before letting him drive a customer car. Was he licensed, did he have any previous convictions or points on his licence and was he made aware of and understood Halfords policies? Failings in any of these areas would place blame as much with Halfords as the driver.

There is then the issue of brand image. What impact will this one event that has been reported across national news channels have on Halfords Autocentres. One person displaying irresponsible behaviour could have a significant effect on both existing and potential future customer choices.

Employees that drive for work must be very aware of their driving at all times and remember the duty they have to their employer by acting responsibly while in a company vehicle. It is also worth remembering that offences committed and points gained on your licence while driving on private journeys can have an impact on the company insurance too.

Is it really worth risking your job, or worse still a life, for a moment of poor decision making. The Halfords incident was caught on camera but there doesn’t need to be a camera in the car to be seen doing the wrong thing. Many modern cars have telematics installed that log information about the way the car is being driven, or in this case it could have been that the owner of the car was out shopping while waiting for their car to be serviced. Think how you would feel if while waiting for your pride and joy to be serviced you saw it out on a test drive being driven recklessly. Would your employer feel the same way if they could see how their company car was being driven.

Many issues that feature in our news section may be of concern to you as an employer if you employ company drivers. It is important that you, as a company, are fully compliant with your responsibilities to those employees.

Fleetrisk24 Ltd specialises in Work Related Road Safety and Workplace Transport Safety and can help you put policies and processes in place to address your transport health and safety requirements.

For information about how we can help, in conjunction with you, manage your at work drivers, either:
Speak with an advisor on 01732 864999 or, Email:

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