In our discussion of the Corporate Manslaughter Legislation over the past two days we have covered the crash your vehicle was involved in and the investigation process that then will occur as a result of the crash. All that remains for us to examine is the evidence that may be obtained from you and how that might be used is any prosecution.
It is worth noting at this point that any evidence obtained by the investigative team will remain in the possession of the Police or HSE until the end of any trial and appeal process. This could be anything from 12 months to 2 years.
The most obvious piece of evidence is the vehicle itself. Whether your vehicle caused the accident or was an innocent party it will be kept as evidence. It will be examined by a vehicle expert to assess whether it has got any defects and whether those defects may have contributed towards the collision.
The Vehicle Service History could be used to demonstrate that this organisation takes a cavalier attitude to the maintenance of its vehicles. Especially as the vehicle had defective tyres.
The Vehicle defect reporting system or lack of one would be used to show whether the company are managing the state of their vehicles.
Driver Licence checks or lack of them would be used to show whether the company understood the need to ensure drivers were qualified to drive the vehicles issued to them.
A Mobile Phone Policy, if in place, would be used to demonstrate that the organisation had an understanding of some of the issues affecting fleets.
The Incentive Schemes used to motivate staff could be used to demonstrate that the organisation encourages its staff to work in a dangerous of safe manner.
The Bank Statements and Accounts could be used to demonstrate whether the company were adequately funding the maintenance of vehicles.
What you should remember it is not what you necessarily do, but what you can PROVE you do. The operation you run will be scrutinised microscopically, so you had better ensure that you have all the information in perfect order.
Fleet Risk Consultants, as experts in the field, will be able to visit you and undertake an investigation in the same way as the Police might. The good news is that we will not prosecute you, but we will help you put the systems in place to make the visit from the Police a lot less stressful should it happen.