Waste management company Biffa has launched a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving on pavements and the significant impact it has.
The Driving Recklessly on Pavements (DROPs) campaign is a response to the thousands of reported incidents of motorists driving on pavements every month. Biffa says this could just be the tip of the iceberg, with many dangerous driving incidents going unreported. Such incidents are dangerous to both waste collectors and members of the public.
Biffa handles 10 per cent of household waste collections in the UK and currently its household waste collection teams are reporting around 3,000 incidents of reckless driving per month, a number accounting for just 1/10th of the industry figure.
As part of the campaign, Biffa has released CCTV footage of reckless driving which shows numerous incidents of careless drivers mounting pavements and driving into or nearly missing waste workers in order to dodge their trucks parked in the road.
Lawrence Emerson, Biffa’s Head of Health and Safety, 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.”
Aside from trying to raise public awareness of DROPs, Biffa been actively trying to combat the issue for some time. In addition to collaboration with the police, clearer hi-vis marking and resident awareness campaigns, its trucks are now fitted with 360 degree cameras to record incidents of dangerous driving to aid the police in prosecution.
Karen McDonnell, Occupational Safety and Health Policy Adviser at the Royal Society for Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), 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.”
View the Driving Recklessly on Pavements (DROPs) campaign video below.