Bin lorry crews in the West Midlands have got so fed up with impatient motorists driving recklessly, their bosses are now fitting dashcams and handing footage of dangerous driving to the police.
As part of its Driving Recklessly on Pavements (DROPS) campaign, an average of three near misses are reported every day to Staffordshire Police by Biffa Waste Management.
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Police review the footage and, if it’s serious enough, the driver could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.
However, most motorists are offered a place on a Driving 4 Change education course, which costs them £80. Since the campaign was introduced in summer, 60 have completed the course and 40 are waiting to complete theirs.
Biffa’s Head of Health and Safety, Lawrence Emerson, said: “The issue is far, far greater than the industry, or the public, could ever possibly imagine.
“I joined Biffa in 2015 from an aviation background, so I am used to high risk workplaces. When I went out with our crews on their collections, my jaw was on the floor – I could not believe what I was seeing and the danger the crews were facing every day due to reckless drivers.
“The careless behaviour of drivers has been accepted by our staff as ‘part of the job’. Up until recently, they rarely reported such incidents to their managers, let alone the police.”
The firm has released a video showing examples of dangerous driving caught on camera. It includes motorists speeding along pavements in a bid to get past bin lorries, and crew members jumping over walls to avoid being hit by cars.
The Royal Society for Prevention of Accident (ROSPA)’s occupational safety and health policy adviser, Karen McDonnell, said: “Driving on the footway (or pavement) is an offence under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 and is also prohibited by rule 145 of the Highway Code.
“The proactive approach taken by Biffa to tackle this issue is to be commended. RoSPA would encourage Biffa to share the learning from this initiative with the wider world of work.”