GEM encourages volunteer drivers to put safety first

Posted on April 8th, 2015 by GEM Motoring Assist

ROAD SAFETY AND breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging all volunteer drivers to make good use of its free safety resource. The web-based resource, launched last year, consists of three short videos, offering advice that is relevant to most volunteer driving situations.

GEM chief executive David Williams MBE is pleased with the extensive use of the resource. “Feedback from volunteer groups across the country has been excellent. We are particularly pleased to have had such enthusiastic support from the ambulance service, where increasing numbers of volunteers are used as community first responders (CFRs) to support front-line paramedics and technicians,” he says.

“We are confident that their use of the resource as part of regular update training for volunteers will help make the roads safer.”

One of the three videos focuses specifically on keeping CFRs safe and legal while responding to medical emergencies.

“Even though these people may be dispatched to life-threatening medical emergencies, they must do so at normal road speeds, and with due regard for the Highway Code. This video promotes a safe approach and a willingness to drive in accordance with the Highway Code, something supported by ambulance trusts across the UK,” continues David Williams.

Volunteer drivers typically use their own vehicles to provide transport for others to and from medical appointments, shopping trips or to visit hairdressers. They are unpaid but often claim a mileage allowance for the journeys they make.

  • The first video focuses specifically on drivers, the vehicles they use and the journeys they make.
  • The second video has been devised in partnership with the ambulance service to assist those who volunteer as community first responders. It includes an introduction from Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, ACPO lead for roads policing.
  • The third video looks at the principles of COAST: Concentration, Observation and Anticipation to give Time and Space – an excellent approach to driving for any volunteer.

David Williams concludes: “GEM recognises the value of all volunteer driving, but is also keen that the risks faced by drivers – as well as any risks they pose – should be reduced to a minimum.

The videos and accompanying quiz papers are freely available.