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Kirklees Council employees have crashed hundreds of vehicles costing £1.2m in insurance claims

Council admits fault for 689 collisions over the past four year

Kirklees Council vehicles have been involved in hundreds of accidents over the past few years, figures reveal.

The council has admitted its staff suffered 1,059 collisions between 2012 and last year – more than five a week.

Kirklees’ drivers were found to be at fault for the vast majority of the accidents – 689 incidents – about two out of three of the collisions.

Accidents involving council vehicles have cost £1.2m in insurance claims during that period.

The Examiner sent Freedom of Information requests to Kirklees and Calderdale councils, asking them how many times their vehicles had been caught up in traffic accidents.

Along with the hefty cost of vehicle damage Kirklees Council also confirmed there had been 10 incidents involving pedestrians and three involving cyclists.

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The annual insurance bill for crashes surged in 2014 at a whopping £401,153.

A year earlier it was £277,479, down from £308,379 in 2012.

Kirklees suffered a freak snowstorm in January 2014 which could have caused the spike in claims.

Last year’s costs were running at £218,000 although claims for November and December have not yet been calculated.

One incident sure to be on there is a Kirklees Council building services van which was swept into the canal at Elland during the Boxing Day floods.

A spokesperson for the council said: “All drivers when they take out a council van or pool car are aware of their responsibilities.

“We have clear guidelines around conduct, what should happen in the event of an incident, and we make clear that while it is a council vehicle, it is their licence, their record and that any offences committed will relate to them in a personal capacity.

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“Unfortunately, accidents can happen and we understand that.

“All vehicles are fitted with telematics devices and any driving related issues are investigated by the relevant line manager and appropriate action is taken”

The council has a huge fleet of vehicles comprising everything from small cars to vans to refuse wagons.

At the last count it was running more than 1,000 vehicles, mostly vans and bin trucks.

Kirklees’ bill was substantially more than Calderdale Council’s, which stood at just £117,835 for the entire period.

The authority’s drivers were at fault in 79 accidents.

Calderdale did say that some claims are yet to be finalised which could affect these totals.



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