BVRLA hosts roundtable series

The BVRLA has launched a series of roundtables to help shape the association’s policy position in four key areas affecting fleets.

The first gathering took place on 19 October and discussed the subject of vehicle safety. Future events will focus on intelligent mobility, air quality and business vehicle taxation.

‘These roundtables provide the perfect opportunity for our members to give us feedback on their priorities and concerns for 2016,’ said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney. ‘By amassing such a diverse range of members and fleet industry experts in one place, we are able to find out exactly what is affecting the fleet industry, and direct our lobbying and campaigning work accordingly.’

The vehicle safety event was hosted by Thatcham Research, and saw a range of representatives from the fleet industry discussing the safety and financial benefits of technologies including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), electronic stability control (ESC) and vehicle telematics for fleets.

Andrew Miller, chief technical officer of Thatcham Research, said, ‘All the data we have seen clearly shows the real world benefits of AEB, with one recent study from Euro NCAP and ANCAP showing a 38% reduction in rear-end crashes for vehicles fitted with low-speed AEB. Insurers are already rewarding standard-fit AEB through favourable vehicle groupings and if all vehicles were fitted with AEB, it’s likely we’d all start to see this reflected in the premiums we pay.’

Having heard these comments, delegates stressed that the Government should further encourage the take-up of AEB by taking a lead that others will follow. They suggested that government departments – notably the DfT and Highways England – should adopt the requirement of a five-star Euro NCAP rating for all vehicles among their own fleets, and make AEB a mandatory requirement.

After the roundtables, the BVRLA will produce a series of policy papers setting out the association’s position on each issue. These papers will then be distributed among policy makers in the relevant Government departments, with appropriate policy recommendations.