Spot checks on council contractors’ vehicles to improve safety

To further improve road safety Camden is the first borough to introduce spot checks of contractor’s vehicles to check that they meet strict safety standards.

Camden is carrying out the checks to reduce the potential risk that large and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) pose to pedestrians, cyclists and vulnerable road users. The checks ensure that vehicles are meeting best practice safety and operational standards. 

Large vehicles over 3.5 tonnes feature disproportionately in serious injuries or fatalities of vulnerable road users in London. For example, they accounted for 53% of fatalities between 2008 and 2013, despite only accounting for only 4% of road miles travelled in the capital. 

Introduced in 2014, the checks mean that any contractor that works for the Council must meet strict safety standards, known as ‘Work Related Road Risk’ (WRRR). These include:

  • accreditation to a minimum of bronze level under the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) (or equivalent), to demonstrate legal compliance
  • driver training relating to vulnerable road users and the challenges of driving in an urban environment
  • ensuring vehicles are fitted with additional safety features to reduce the blind spots that are present on most large vehicles, reducing the chance of a collision
  • driver licence checks and collision reporting and analysis.

To ensure the standards are followed, a monitoring and enforcement procedure has been developed. This allows for spot safety checks of contractors’ vehicles. Where any issues are identified, the contractor is obliged to rectify the issue within a set period of time. 

Camden’s own vehicle fleet is compliant with the WRRR standard, has achieved FORS Silver accreditation and the council is currently working towards achieving the Gold accreditation.

Camden is also a champion of the Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) standard, which is now a planning requirement for all private developments in the borough, as well as a requirement for Camden’s own construction projects.

Councillor Phil Jones, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport & Planning
“In Camden we take a proactive role in improving the safety of large vehicles travelling through our borough and London. 

“We have also used the opportunity to introduce changes to our procurement practices to include stringent road safety requirements, as well as via our planning process to ensure safer vehicle operation on construction projects in the borough. 

“This means we are the first borough to monitor and spot check compliance for safety equipment on large vehicles as well as driver training and accreditation.”
Councillor Phil Jones, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport & Planning

The Work Related Road Risk (WRRR standard) was developed by Transport for London (TfL), following its inception as part of the Crossrail project, which catalysed action and made significant safety advances for contractor’s vehicles and those of their supply chains. TfL have urged all London boroughs to adopt the policy.For more information on WRRR and to see the terms that Camden has introduced.

The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is a best practice accreditation scheme which focuses on best practice safety, efficiency and environmental protection for fleet operators. This includes for example, policies about not using mobile phones whilst driving and ensuring vehicles are regularly maintained and daily vehicle checks are undertaken. Accreditation is awarded at bronze, silver or gold level:

The Construction Logistics and Cycle Safety (CLOCS) standard has been developed by the construction industry in response to the disproportionate number of construction vehicles involved in fatalities with cyclists in London. The CLOCS standard incorporates the WRRR terms and includes some additional requirements to reduce the risk of particularly large, specialist vehicles used in the construction sector, such as considering site access, traffic routing and control of traffic at peak hours. For more information on Camden’s CLOCS trial: