An employee driving on company business caused two deaths in a multi-vehicle accident on the M25 after dozing off at the wheel.
Verdict -Company owner and a fellow director were jailed for 15 months and 12 months respectively. The Court heard that the procedures used to monitor drivers’ hours were wholly inadequate. The employee involved was also jailed for two years.
Failure to introduce a Risk Management Policy:
An employee driving his own vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian on a pelican crossing after falling asleep at the wheel.
Although driving on company business, the employee had failed to take out business insurance cover and the employer had no procedures to check this.
The employers were also accused of asking the employee to operate longer hours in an effort to increase business.
Verdict -The employee was jailed for three years and banned from driving for 10 years.
Last we heard, the Sales Manager, Fleet Manager and Managing Director awaited a verdict on charges of corporate killing a pedestrian on a pelican crossing. Individually, they risk prison and/or unlimited fines for not taking reasonable precautions due to the lack of a risk management policy. The company now faces collapse due to massive legal costs brought by the lack of correct insurance cover. (Lack of insurance cover could have been avoided with proper procedures and a motor contingency policy.
Correct Policies and Procedures in Place:
An employee using a non hands-free ’phone lost control of his vehicle and collided with another vehicle resulting in the death of another driver.
Verdict - The employee was sentenced to three years in prison plus a four-year driving ban.
The employers were cleared of all blame when it was shown that their procedures and policies were in line with legislation and that specific written instructions had been issued to all employees regarding the use of mobile phones whilst driving.
Illegal Use of Mobile ’Phone:
An employee spent six and a half minutes on his mobile phone during a fifteen minute journey.
During a second call to his wife, the driver ignored a total of 15 road signs as he used his hand-held ’phone.
He then made an illegal turn onto the M6 motorway and immediately collided with a motorcyclist driving in the opposite direction, who subsequently died from his injuries.
Verdict - The Judge passing sentence said that a motorcyclist had lost his life because the driver of the car had been avoidably distracted by using a mobile ’phone. The car driver was jailed for five years, followed by a five-year driving ban.
The employers escaped prosecution because the employee was talking to his wife and so was not making a business call.