Newsletter – February 2022

Posted Posted on Categories Days Fleet

Welcome to the February edition of our newsletter, included in this month’s update:

Highway Code Changes

Changes to The Highway Code, designed to enhance safety for all road-users – particularly those most at risk – were introduced on 29th January 2022 and followed a public consultation held in 2020 and will improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

The 8 changes are:

1. Hierarchy of Road Users

Pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders appear at the top of the hierarchy as they are most at risk in the event of a collision.

2. People Crossing the road at Junctions

  • When people are crossing or waiting to cross at a junction, other traffic should give way
  • If people have started crossing and traffic wants to turn into the road, the people crossing have priority and the traffic should give way
  • People driving, riding a motorcycle or cycling must give way to people on a zebra crossing and people walking and cycling on a parallel crossing

3. Walking, Cycling or Riding in Shared Spaces

People cycling, riding a horse or driving a horse-drawn vehicle should respect the safety of people walking in these spaces, but people walking should also take care not to obstruct or endanger them.

4. Positioning in the road when cycling

Cyclists should:

  • Ride in the centre of their lane on quiet roads, in slower-moving traffic and at the approach to junctions or road narrowings
  • Keep at least 0.5 metres away from the kerb edge (and further where it is safer) when riding on busy roads with vehicles moving faster than them

5. Overtaking when driving or cycling<

You may cross a double-white line if necessary (provided the road is clear) to overtake someone cycling or riding a horse if they are travelling at 10 mph or less

6. People cycling at junctions

The code has been updated to clarify that when turning into or out of a side road, people cycling should give way to people walking who are crossing or waiting to cross.

7. People cycling, riding a horse and driving horse-drawn vehicles on roundabouts

People driving or riding a motorcycle should give priority to people cycling on roundabouts. The new guidance will say people driving and or riding a motorcycle should:

  • not attempt to overtake people cycling within that person’s lane
  • allow people cycling to move across their path as they travel around the roundabout

8. Parking, charging and leaving vehicles

Where people driving or passengers in a vehicle are able to do so, they should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. For example, using their left hand to open a door on their right-hand side.  This will make them turn their head to look over their shoulder behind them. They’re then less likely to cause injury to:

  • people cycling or riding a motorcycle passing on the road
  • people on the pavement

When charging an electric vehicle people should:

  • park close to the charge point and avoid creating a trip hazard for people walking from trailing cables
  • display a warning sign if you can
  • return charging cables and connectors neatly to minimise the danger to other people and avoid creating an obstacle for other road users

For more details on all of the above changes please visit The Highway Code: 8 changes you need to know from 29 January 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

New Mobile Phone Laws

New mobile phone laws while driving will come into force from 25th March 2022, with research suggesting many drivers are ignorant of the changes.  It had been thought that the new rules, which ban drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games, would take effect alongside changes introduce to the Highway Code from 29th January however these new rule will take effect on 25th March.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “This is a much needed upgrade of the law to help make our roads safer. “Mobile phones offer many distractions and this sends a clear message that picking them up to use them will not be tolerated.”

The law will also become tougher as the use of smartwatches, tablets and laptops behind the wheel will apply.  King added: “Drivers will be extremely limited on when they can pick up their phone, mainly to call the emergency services when there was no opportunity to safely pull over and to make contactless payments at drive-thrus.  “Being sat in a traffic jam or waiting at the lights is not an excuse, we want people to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.”

It was already illegal to text or make a phone call (other than in an emergency) using a hand-held device while driving.  Anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and six points on their licence.

The Government says that drivers will still be able to continue using a device ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s secured in a cradle.  Recent research of 1,000 UK van drivers found 46% use an app on their smartphone for sat-nav and whilst it is still legal to do so it must be safely secured to the dashboard or windscreen, where it must not block your view.

Previous legislation had made it a criminal offence to use a hand-held mobile phone to call or text while driving, but not for other actions such as taking photos.  The law said that an offence is committed if a driver uses a handheld mobile phone for “interactive telecommunication” while behind the wheel. The phrase reflected how, when the law was written in 2003, smartphones were not in existence and mobile devices were used for sending texts or making calls.

Vehicle & Parts Delays

We have consistently reported over the year or so on the effect of COVID-19, the shortages of semi-conductor chips, Brexit and general staff shortages on vehicle supply – they have all contributed to much longer vehicle lead times than we have ever experienced before.

We currently have some vehicles on order for clients with an estimated delivery date in 2023!  To try and prevent any negative impact on your fleet renewal we recommend engaging with our team at least 12 months before your vehicle(s) contract is due to expire.  If you are unsure when your contract(s) is due to end or would like to discuss your renewal please contact us at [email protected] or contact your account management team.

Delays are also being experienced in vehicle parts so please try and book your service and MOT as far in advance as possible using our easy online portal – Book a Service, MOT or Repair – Days Fleet.      Tyre replacements should also be booked in advance where possible by clicking here.

New Driver Packs Launched!

Our Driver Packs have had a facelift and we have replaced our previous ‘Driver Information Card’ with a ‘QR Code’ which is printed on the safety bag, key fob and no smoking sticker.

Scanning the code with your mobile phone camera gives the user access to a web page containing useful contract information, how to get assistance in a distress situation and how to book a service.  The beauty of this is that if we change any of our internal processes we can simply tweak the webpage at any point ensuring that the driver always has the most up to date, accurate information, web links and phone numbers.

All vehicles delivered now receive this version of our pack – if you or drivers have any feedback we’d be delighted to receive it via [email protected]

Staff Test Drive Electric Vehicles

To increase the awareness and understanding of electric vehicles in general we have recently been encouraging our staff to drive them over the course of a few days so that they get to experience the day-to-day reality of life with a vehicle that needs charging!

Gareth Davies, Client Support Team Leader (and his son Flynn) test drove the Mercedes-Benz EQA 250 AMG Line

  • What did you think of the vehicle?

Having been lucky enough to drive other Mercedes cars, I was extremely impressed by the drive of this vehicle.  It didn’t take long to get used to not having any engine noise, other than that you couldn’t really tell it was an electric car.  It was automatically set to Comfort Mode, but I switched this to Economy Mode every time I drove it.  I did sample Sport Mode over the weekend and the power and handling control of the car was superb.

  • How many miles did you do?

Approximately 170 over the space of a week.

  • Did you try to charge the vehicle?

Yes, I charged it Friday morning at 7.50am at the charging point in the Days Fleet car park.   It had 114 miles range remaining when I plugged it in and was fully charged by the time I went back at around 1pm.  I also used a charging point at Tesco on the Sunday just to get the experience of using a POD Point charging station.  This was very straight forward using the POD Point App.

Overall, it was a really great car and driving an 100% electric vehicle over the course of the weekend was a positive experience.

Days Fleet retains ISO 14001

Days Fleet are delighted to have been re-certified for ISO 14001 – Environmental Management.

Caroline Lee, Operations Manager, who is responsible for our ISO standards and accreditations said: “We have held ISO 14001 since 2011 and it has become an integral part of our management system ensuring that we take our responsibilities seriously whilst also bringing benefits to our business.

“Over the past year all employees have participated in environmental awareness training and we are working on our Carbon Reduction Plan which will further cement our commitment to sustainable business”.

Meet the Team – Neil Vaughan, Tender and Bid Manager

Joined Days Fleet in November 2013

1. What is your role within Days Fleet?

My role within Days Fleet is Tender and Bid manager.   I work closely with the sales team on tender opportunities for both commercial tenders and those across public sector frameworks of which we are members, including Crown Commercial Service, Link, WGCD, and TPPL.  Having originally joined the business in a marketing role, I still play a role in managing the website and assisting with the creation of client communications.

2. What do you enjoy most about your role with Days Fleet?

I most enjoy seeing a notification arrive that we have won a tender, whether to secure the business of a new client or sometimes even more satisfying is when an existing client has decided to remain with us.  Knowing I have played some part in their decision is of great satisfaction.

3. What has been the most challenging part of working during the pandemic?

Initially, the early days of the pandemic in helping to ensure colleagues were correctly set up to work from home was a challenge.  However, in many ways, it has helped to further advance the efficiency of the business now that staff are fully proficient with conducting meetings with the use of Microsoft Teams, whether with each other or with clients.  I’m a big advocate of using technology.

4. What would you like to achieve in 2022?

There are a few exciting projects which I am involved with this year including the re-development of the Days Fleet website, the introduction of QR codes drivers to access key services and also a brand-new driver app which will provide innovation to our clients and drivers.  I’m really looking forward to seeing each project come to fruition.

5. What are you most looking forward to now that restrictions are easing?

Spending more time with family and a sense of normality with some times which can be taken for granted in previous times, such as being able to attend school concerts, something we have been unable to do since the pandemic began.

Customer Survey

We recently sent out a link to our Customer Survey and we’d like to thank all clients that took the time to complete.    If you are yet to complete yours, we’d really appreciate 5 minutes of your time so that your feedback can be used for staff development and training and continuous improvement.   You can still take part in the survey by clicking here.

For every completed survey submitted, we will make a £5 donation to our nominated charity for 2022 – Cerebral Palsy Cymru.

Job Vacancies

We currently have the following vacancy available:

Accounts Clerk – for details and application, please click here