Post Office Ltd Supply Chain (CVIT) – POL/CWU Joint Driver/Road Safety ‘Seat Belts’ Campaign W/C 14 February 2022:
Further to LTBs 554/21 and 57/22, Post Office Ltd jointly with CWU have launched a Driver Safety “Seat Belts” Campaign in the POL Supply Chain (CVIT – Cash and Valuables in Transit) Fleet depots.
It’s compulsory to wear a seat belt at all times when driving a Post Office Ltd vehicle. The law and Post Office Ltd Policy applies to drivers and passengers who must wear their seat belts.
Seatbelts can help to save lives. They are important safety features that, like air bags, help to protect a driver or passenger in a collision and minimise injuries.
According to all motoring and medical experts seat belts reduce one’s risk of suffering injuries or death by about half. In fact thousands of lives are saved every year by seat belts in the UK.
Those who do not wear their seatbelts while in a vehicle put themselves at greater risk of severe injury or even death. It is also a legal requirement and has been since 1983. POL Vehicle Drivers are NOT exempt!
Seat belts are designed to retain people in their seats, and so prevent or reduce injuries suffered in a crash. They ensure that as little contact is made between the occupant and vehicle interior as possible and significantly reduce the risk of being thrown around inside a vehicle or thrown from a vehicle in the event of a collision.
Seat belts are designed to work as the key part of wider injury prevention measures and safety systems, such as airbags and head restraints, which will not be as effective in reducing the risk of injury if an occupant is not wearing a seat belt.
Seatbelts are reported to save over 2,000 lives per year. In the event of a serious collision, you are twice as likely to die if you are not wearing a seatbelt.
Wearing a seat belt has been compulsory in the UK for drivers and front seat passengers since 1983 and for rear seat passengers since 1991 (1989 for under-14s). Despite the law being in place for 30 years, thousands of drivers continue to flout the rules and government figures show that almost a quarter of all people killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
Drivers must wear a seat belt in cars, vans and other goods vehicles. Adults, and children aged 14 years and over, must use a seat belt, where fitted, when seated in minibuses, buses and coaches.
Worryingly, some Post Office Ltd as with Royal Mail and Parcelforce drivers and passengers are being found to not be wearing a seatbelt and are in breach of the law. During spot check observations a number of drivers and passengers were observed not wearing a seatbelt.
- Drivers and front seat passengers must wear a seat belt – it only takes 5 seconds to belt up.
- All drivers must wear their seat belts all the time to comply with POL standards.
- The fixed penalty for failing to wear a seat belt as a driver or passenger is a £100 fine.
- If the case is taken to court, you could face a fine of up to £500.
- In Northern Ireland drivers will also have three penalty points added to their driving licence. There are also moves to add penalty points to the punishment in England, Scotland and Wales.
- A number of CWU member drivers have been fined for not wearing their seat belt.
Wearing a seat belt correctly:
In order to wear a seat belt safely, the following points should be adhered to:
- The belt should be worn as tight as possible, with no slack.
- The lap belt should go over the pelvic region, not the stomach.
- The diagonal strap should rest over the shoulder, not the neck.
- Nothing should obstruct the smooth movement of the belt by trapping it.
Why wearing a seat belt is important:
- It keeps vehicle occupants inside.
- It restrains the strongest parts of the body.
- Seat belts spread out the force of a collision.
- Helps the body to slow down.
- It protects the brain and spinal cord.
- Wearing a seat belt is required by law (POL and RMG DRIVERS ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM THIS LAW).
Damaged seat belts:
Seat belts should be regularly checked for damage, this forms part of the driver’s vehicle checks. Common forms of damage to the seat belt that will reduce its effectiveness in an accident:
- Fraying or fluffing around the edges of the seat belt.
- A cut which causes the fabric to split.
- A hole in the seat belt.
- Damage to the buckle.
- Report any faults found during vehicle checks before using the vehicle.
Attached is a copy of the Joint CWU/POL Poster and CWU/POL Joint Communication to all POL Supply Chain drivers “The Important Of Seatbelts”. This features some dramatic photographs from a CWU article entitled “Seat Belts Save Lives –Mine Saved Me”. Parcelforce Driver and CWU member Carl Prendergast was involved in a very serious, terrifying, recent road accident in which his 7.5-tonne Parcelforce lorry smashed through the barriers on an elevated flyover in Reading and cart-wheeled over before dropping upside down some 30 feet before landing on its roof, on the road below. In his own words Carl said: “If I hadn’t been wearing my seat belt, I’d have been catapulted out of the front windscreen and crushed to death on the road.” He appealed to all his fellow CWU member colleagues and drivers; “Please never forget your seat belt, it can save your life – it certainly saved mine.” Carl’s story is an important example of the absolute necessity of wearing a seatbelt at all times while driving. Without a seatbelt, Carl would not be with us today – that’s the honest truth of the matter. Please everyone, it only takes a second for another driver perhaps to make a small mistake and as we can see from the Reading incident, the consequences are potentially catastrophic. Seatbelts save lives and in this case it certainly did. Those who don’t wear their seatbelts whilst behind the wheel put themselves in mortal danger. We’re all extremely relieved that Carl survived this horrific accident and walked away with minor injuries. Carl’s story and the photographs of his accident has and will continue to help raise awareness of the vital importance of seat belts. During this POL/CWU Road Safety – Seat Belts Campaign, working together to raise awareness and promote the importance to CWU members who drive as part of their job, the importance of wearing their seat belts, through the poster and communication. Our thanks to Carl for volunteering to tell his story in order to help get this important message across.
Managers must carry out driving and yard checks to reinforce positive safe behaviours through coaching. During this campaign they should concentrate on checking that drivers are wearing their seat belts and reminding them to do so.
If the vehicle is moving, belt up!
All drivers must wear their seatbelt at all times whenever driving or travelling for Post Office Ltd. There are no exceptions regardless of whether they are in the yard, on private and public roads/property, or travelling only short distances. If the vehicle is moving, belt up!
This Campaign is not tied to just one week and we want the focus on the campaign to be sustainable so CWU Reps, POL Safety Team and POL Operational Managers can focus on the issue and programme and keep it in focus regularly thereafter.
Post Office Ltd and the CWU agree that the safety of the workforce is paramount. Vehicle and driver safety, road risk, avoiding accidents and injuries are top priorities for us all.
Please support this Road Safety Campaign – Would all CWU Reps pro-actively work with the POL Safety Team and engage Operational Managers and drivers to get involved and lift the profile of the Campaign in line with the POL/CWU Joint Road/Driver Safety Campaign. Thanks for your support.
Any management enquiries should be directed to Andrew Steadman POL National Fleet Audit Manager: Mobile: 07526985257 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- POL/CWU Campaign Poster
- POL/CWU Campaign Communication
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer