Commercial Vehicle Safety on the Strategic Road Network- Driving for better business

16 March 2023 • National Space Centre, Leicester
Organised by National Highways

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National Highways is to host a one-day national conference covering the key issues commercial fleet operators should focus on to help reduce collisions involving their drivers, and save lives on the roads.

The conference, titled ‘Commercial Vehicle Safety on the Strategic Road Network’, will be held at the National Space Centre in Leicester on 16 March 2023.

Topics to be covered during the day include:

  • Lessons learnt from collision investigation
  • What to do if first on the scene of a collision
  • Driver fatigue, distraction and impairment
  • Mental health issues, and how these can impact on drivers
  • Safety in practice – commercial vehicle operator experiences

While the event will naturally appeal to fleet managers, National Highways is encouraging anyone to attend who is in a position to influence policy with regard to commercial driver safety, including H&S and procurement managers. 


09.00 – 10.00 Delegate registration & exhibition
10.00 – 11.00 Opening session
Comprising the following three presentations
Driving Change
In the opening keynote address, Nick Harris will call on commercial vehicle operators and those responsible for the procurement of services involving the use of commercial vehicles, to join National Highways in the fight to reduce collisions and casualties.
Vehicles don’t crash…
Mark will outline the many complexities that can affect the performance of commercial vehicle drivers – and can ultimately lead to collisions and casualties.
It’s personal
Meera will remind delegates of the importance of road safety, and of the potentially terrible personal consequences when things go wrong.
11.00 – 11.30 Refreshments & exhibition
11.30 – 12.55 Second session
Comprising the following presentations and expert panel discussion
The ‘Known Unknowns’
The ‘known unknowns’ (driver distraction, fatigue, impairment and medical issues) are difficult to identify when investigating collisions and as such are greatly under reported. This expert panel discussion session will seek to raise awareness of these causations and discuss interventions that commercial vehicle operators can deploy.
Learning from the past
This presentation will explain why collision and incident investigations are vital for fleet operators, and how the lessons learned will help National Highways achieve its Zero Harm target.
Free resources to help employers reduce work-related road risk
Simon will explain how Driving for Better Business, a government-backed programme, will help employers reduce work-related road risk and improve operational efficiency. He will also introduce the new Van Driver Toolkit video toolbox talks – and all these resources are completely free!
12.55 – 13.55 Lunch & exhibition
13.55 – 15.45 Afternoon session
Comprising the following five presentations
Post-crash response: Perfect 999
80% of pre-hospital deaths at crash scenes would have been preventable with basic support. In this presentation, Rob will discuss a new post-collision trauma response project that aims to help ‘first on scene’ drivers make the best 999 call they can, and provide first-aid support.
Breaking down the taboos surrounding mental health
John Ryan is a multi-award winning comedian and men’s health advocate. His innovative approach to raising awareness uses his unique style of wit and observations to break down the taboos surrounding men’s health.
Operator experiences
Dave Conway and John Anderson will talk about what they have achieved at their businesses, the challenges they’ve overcome and the rewards and business benefits that have accrued.
Why? The legal and regulatory backbone 
Laura will outline the legal and regulatory backbone underpinning commercial vehicle safety, drawing on her experiences as a health and safety lawyer and former Deputy Traffic Commissioner.
Making it happen: learn from an expert
Professor Greg Whyte OBE is a physical activity expert and world-renowned sports scientist, who is well-known for his involvement in Comic Relief and assisting various celebrities in challenge events.

Nick Harris, Chief Executive of National Highways, said: There is a shared responsibility for safety on our roads between National Highways, operators of commercial vehicles and, importantly, those responsible for the procurement of services involving the use of commercial vehicles. 

“This responsibility demands recognition of everyone’s health and safety obligations – driving is a high-risk activity, and that those risks are managed and minimized in the same way as onsite risks. 

“Like all Health and Safety duties, this responsibility extends beyond the industry’s own commercial vehicle operation – every operator should ensure its supply chain, contractors and suppliers are clear of its expectation that they operate safely and legally.”

The agenda is currently under development and should be complete and available for publication in early January 2023.

Click here to book a place at the conference. Alternatively, for more information please contact the conference organiser Nick Rawlings

Speakers at this event

Nick Harris – Chief Executive Officer, National Highways

Mark Cartwright – Head of Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention, National Highways

Meera Naran MBE – Independent Road Safety Campaigner

Ean Lewin, Managing Director, DTec International Ltd

Marcus de Guingand – Managing Director, Third Pillar of Health

Dr Markand Bhatt – Senior Medical Assessor, D4Drivers

Dr Leanne Savigar-Shaw – Senior Lecturer in Policing, Staffordshire University

Andrew Drewary – Managing Director, Road Safety Smart

Simon Turner – Campaign Manager, Driving for Better Business

Rob Fenwick – Consultant Nurse/ Advanced Clinical Practitioner, Emergency Medicine, Wrexham Maelor Hospital

John Ryan – Men’s Health Advocate

Dave Conway – IMS & Road Safety Manager, FM Conway

John Anderson – Logistics Consultant

Laura Thomas – Barrister, Safety Strategist & Risk Leader

Professor Greg Whyte OBE PhD DSc FBASES FACSM – Physical Activity Expert, world-renowned sports scientist & Olympian