A new survey commissioned by vehicle technology and compliance specialist, HH Driveright, has a strong underlying message for courier companies and organisations operating van fleets, particularly if brand reputation, green credentials and ESG strategies matter to them. 

The survey, commissioned through Censuswide, found 48% of consumers believe organisations should make it company policy for their drivers to switch off their engines whilst delivering or not moving in traffic.  Only 12% said they slightly or firmly disagreed with this, with the rest undecided one way or another. 

The region most keen to see a crackdown on engine idling by company van drivers was the South West (55%); the least in favour were the East Midlands and Wales (40%), but still four-in-ten people there felt that companies should ban the practice. 

43% of interviewees also said they believe diesel-fuelled vans have a negative impact on air pollution in their local area with more women than men agreeing (46%/41%). 

The region feeling this most strongly is Wales (50%); the regions believing it least were East of England and Northern Ireland.  However, more than a third of people (37%), even in these less populated regions, feel vans negatively affect the quality of air they breathe – something any company committed to ESG should take on board. 

HH Driveright believes the time has come for all fleet operators to take action on engine idling and has the technology to help.  Its multi-faceted GM 2020 device allows a fleet manager to easily identify instances of engine idling and also see CO2 emission impacts of each vehicle. 

Managing director, Rebecca Hall, says, “Leaving engines running in both non-moving traffic and whilst stationary is likely to become of increasing annoyance to what is now a highly environmentally concerned society.  It is most definitely a practice at odds with any company that professes to have green credentials.  However, it is also a practice that can go under the radar, on the basis of most vans being out of sight and out of mind most of the time, with only the public able to view what is happening on the road.  

“The GM2020 offers fleet managers, company directors and shareholders much more visibility, showing how employees are driving across various aspects of driving behaviour.  It flags up everything from harsh braking and cornering to speeding and leaving vehicles unlocked.  The dashboard reports also include details of all the times that drivers leave the engine idling – the many times a day when they could be damaging the brand reputation in the eyes of environmentally concerned members of the public. It makes it easy for firms to stop this bad habit from occurring.” 

The likelihood of engine idling occurring is enhanced by the fact that around a quarter of people in general, and a third of those in Greater London, said they do not believe there is any instruction given with regard to this bad habit within the Highway Code.   

The reality is that Rule 123 categorically states that a driver MUST NOT  leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running, or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily whilst that vehicle is stationary on a public road. 

HH Driveright urges van fleets to ban engine idling and protect both the environment and their reputation.  The GM 2020 installation cost is negligible – around £10.25 per month (plus initial fitting charge) – whilst the cost to their business, not to mention all the wasted fuel, can be colossal.

To find out more, call the team on 01937 830 144  or head to www.hhdriveright.com       

By Alison