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Biffa Truck

Wirral Safe Driving

A Biffa initiative to cut dangerous driving and aggression to its collection crews is backed by Police for wider industry adoption.

A Biffa campaign to tackle a worrying increase in dangerous driving around its collection vehicles and aggression towards its crews has won the support of a major police association.

The latest version of the campaign, a partnership between Biffa, Wirral Borough Council and Merseyside Police, features an agreed process and protocol for reporting such incidents to local police. In turn, police have committed to investigating them, making prosecution and punishment more likely.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has welcomed the initiatives, saying it will work with industry bodies such as the Environmental Services Association to roll out this best practice model for consideration by other police forces.

Over 4,000 incidents reported

Biffa’s records for 2011-12 showed that over 40% of around 10,000 near-miss reports of hazards encountered on the job were for dangerous driving or aggressive behaviour by the public.

Over 20 Biffa staff were actually hit by vehicles, suffering injuries ranging from broken bones to cuts and bruises.

Biffa’s solution comprised two parts. The first was involving staff in creating slogans or messages for display on the bin curtains at the rear of collection vehicles.

These messages would ask the public to be considerate and drive carefully around the vehicle and its crew.

Six slogans were selected from over 100 entries submitted by staff, and by the end of 2014, 90% of Biffa’s vehicle fleet will carry the messages.

The slogans are fitted to new vehicles as standard, and progressively retro-fitted to older vehicles.