Transport for London (TfL)'s Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) has been awarded a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award for its continuing work to improve fleet and freight safety across the UK.
The Royal Awards, which are presented annually, recognise achievements in road safety and are awarded to the most outstanding examples of innovation across the world.
The FORS initiative was awarded the annual Fleet Award, sponsored by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, after judges agreed it was an outstanding model of its kind, carefully planned and monitored and well overdue for recognition.
Launched in 2008, FORS is a unique industry led accreditation scheme which helps operators improve operational performance and safety, measure and monitor performance as well as ensure and demonstrate compliance and best practice.
More than 2,200 accredited companies, operating over 180,000 vehicles, are now part of the scheme, a third of which are in the construction and aggregates industry, leading the way to improve the safety of vulnerable road users.
The three levels of accreditation - Bronze, Silver and Gold - allow fleet operators to raise standards within their organisation through education and incentives. As well as passing an on-site audit, operators can also chart the progress they are making to increase efficiency and monitor the safety of their drivers and vehicles. Analysis of collision data shows that, between 2012 and 2013, FORS operators reduced injury collisions by 41 per cent and reduced total collisions by 25 per cent.
They also achieved greater levels of legal compliance, fundamental to underpinning safe transport operations.
Despite originally being a "London" scheme, around two thirds of FORS accredited operators are now based outside the M25. The FORS standard is widely regarded as 'the' national road safety and efficiency benchmark for commercial fleet operators.
Many major developers, including Mace, British Land and Crossrail, now require fleet operators to be part of FORS to provide a demonstration of a commitment to sustainable fleet activities, such as a FORS accreditation.
Building on this, TfL is working with the industry to bring an external partner onboard to help expand FORS more widely, ensuring it continued success both across London and more widely across the UK. The scheme will be officially rolled out across the UK in January 2015 and an announcement on the successful partner will be announced later this year.
Announcing the award, Adrian Walsh, Director of The Prince Michael Awards, said: `One in three serious crashes involve a driver who is at work. FORS is a world-class example of how safety can be improved through engagement and leadership and here in London we now have a proven programme which is ready to be rolled out across the country and indeed internationally.`
Leon Daniels, Managing Director for Surface Transport at TfL, said: `FORS has helped transform how fleet and freight vehicles operate in London, encouraging greater compliance, better training, lower emissions and improved road safety. We are delighted to be awarded this international award, which shows the determination and drive we are putting into making London's roads better for all.`
Since 1987, the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards have given public recognition to those who have improved road safety throughout Britain. Now, the Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards recognise outstanding achievement and innovation worldwide. All road users are invited to nominate initiatives that make roads safer.
Award winners are invited to meet HRH Prince Michael of Kent at a Gala Presentation, held annually in December.The awards are organised and managed by RoadSafeFORS operators achieve increased levels of legal compliance, fundamental to underpinning safe transport operations.
FORS operators are:
In order to progress to Silver and Gold FORS level, fleet operators will need to develop and complete a plan incorporating a number of factors, including fuel efficiency, improving blind spots on vehicles and reducing CO2 and particulate emission levels, all of which are assessed through active monitoring against a 12 month baseline.By tailoring these plans to the fleet operators needs, rather than setting a fixed target, operators can work with TfL to develop meaningful, realistic targets that directly help their fleet improve.
Operators will also need to undergo a formal assessment of their fleet once a year, to ensure they are still operating to a minimum of FORS Bronze standard.
As of 11 October 2014, TfL FORS accreditation figures were as follows:
One of TfL's top priorities is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads, with a target of a 40 per cent reduction by 2020.
Recently, the Mayor and TfL published six commitments which, working with a range of partners, are guiding initiatives to deliver this.
In particular, action is being taken to prioritise the safety of the most vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
Launched in 2013 as an industry response to a TfL commissioned report, the Construction Logistics and Cyclist Safety (CLOCS) programme has brought together developers, construction companies, operators, vehicle manufacturers and regulatory bodies to ensure a road safety culture is embedded across the construction industry. Significant achievements have already been made through CLOCS.
Including over 20 construction clients requiring FORS accreditation as part of their contracts to help reduce collisions between trucks and all vulnerable road users such as cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists - The Standard for construction logistics: Managing work related road risk is fully aligned to the FORS Silver accreditation Further information about CLOCS is available at: www.clocs.org.uk