Brake, the road safety charity, has launched its Global Fleet Champions campaign, which is a call to fleet operators worldwide to tackle increases in road deaths, and toxic air.
The not-for-profit and partnership campaign will ultimately reduce the number of serious collisions that cause injuries or deaths, while also bringing down harmful levels of pollution that is currently the fourth biggest threat to public health in the UK.
It comes as the latest World Health Organisation report reveals the devastating effects of road crashes.
Currently, road collisions are the leading killer of children and young adults globally and worryingly, deaths occurring from road crashes have increased to 1.35 million, now equating to this type of death being the eighth leading cause worldwide, surpassing the likes of HIV/Aids and TB.
Significantly, many of the road deaths involve vehicles and fleets being used for work which also happen to be the ones that cause the most pollution.
For these reasons, Global Fleet Champions – a free initiative – is calling on all businesses and organisations that use vehicles for work to ensure safety and sustainability are prioritised.
The campaign is asking companies to adopt more robust policies, leadership and procedures so that driver behaviour is improved, along with vehicle standards and journey routing.
Global Fleet Champions is underpinned by five pillars of road safety: driver behaviour; journey routing and model choice; vehicle procurement and maintenance; incident analysis and intervention; and community outreach.
Governments are also being asked to regulate and enforce safe, sustainable operation of vehicles that move goods and people, by better licensing and traffic rules, tougher penalties and road policing.
Mary Williams, Chief Executive of Brake, said: “Road crashes caused by vehicles used for work purposes are a global catastrophe.
“Lorries and buses, in particular, are the largest and heaviest vehicles on roads and are involved in some of the most catastrophic and devastating collisions and extensive pollution.
“The good news is that the safe and sustainable operation of all types of vehicles operated for work reasons can be regulated and enforced by governments, and managed by business leaders through risk management and environmental practices.”