Fleets will face increasing fuels bills and vehicle emissions from 2012. However, there is a possibility that the number of crashes may reduce as daytime running lights (DLR) become compulsory on all new vehicles.
Although DLRs do seem to provide a safety benefit by providing motorists with higher visibility, many road safety groups (amongst them RoSPA) maintain that motorcyclists, cyclists and also pedestrians will be in danger of the glare from the lamps. At the same time non-DLR vehicles by comparison, will be much less visible.
From early 2011 all new types of passenger cars and light vans will have to be fitted with dedicated daytime running lamps in accordance with the relevant European directive. Whilst the UK has been successful in arguing against the mandatory use of dipped lights in daylight hours, we will have to conform to the new regulation. This is a disappointment to many motorcyclists who feel this may remove the relatively high visibility that motorcyclists currently enjoy.
The case for and against DLRs continues to rumble. A Department of Transport enquiry into the European Commission findings that DLR will bring about a 15% reduction in fatal accidents was 'weak' and that a reduction of between 3.9% - 5.9% was far more realistic.
However, for fleet operators, the main problem will be that using headlights at all time could increase fuel usage by up to 1.5%, a Department for Transport report has suggested. This in turn increases carbon dioxide emissions throughout the fleet and can impact on green policies being put in place. In terms of expenditure, this means that once again fleet managers will need to review their costs and look for means of saving on expenditure across the board. Start with the basics, insurance and car maintenance and service, talk to professionals who can deal knowledgeably with fleet and see what the markets can offer. With all the new regulations coming through, exploring all costs avenues is the only sensible means of controlling the budget with out cutting necessary corners.