March 16 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
A Huntingdon businessman who helped train 9,000 drivers for the London Olympics has started his own firm.
Les Hammond was working for Peak Performance, which was later bought by AA subsidiary DriveTech, when he was chosen with a daunting task – to train all the drivers for the 2012 games which would ferry athletes, LOCOG and IOC dignitaries and other officials between hotels and venues.
Mr Hammond handpicked 300 driving instructors to get the volunteer chauffeurs up to the right standard in time for the opening ceremony.
“I had to develop the training course and systems for mandatory checks, and picked and trained 300 people from 1,500 applicants to run the courses in each of the Olympic venues so they were trained to drive where they would chauffeur,” he said.
“It was a fantastic experience and probably my proudest achievement, so I thought if I can do that, why not start my own business.”
Driving Risk Matters was started last month and aims to help companies reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the road by helping become compliant to health and safety laws.
Mr Hammond said: “About 40 per cent of crashes where people are killed or seriously hurt involve a company car. I will visit a company and see what they must do, should do and could do to be compliant.
“It’s to make sure they are at the right standard and, if not, to get them there. Some companies will want to do more than is required and they will save more money in the long run.”
He added: “It’s about keeping drivers on the road because if a company has its best salesman off the road, they can’t sell. For example, if someone has nine points on their licence I will look at ways to prevent them from picking up more points to see if they need extra training or whether they are under pressure to get between meetings. I will suggest that the employer could look at ways to conduct meetings over the phone.”
Mr Hammond is in talks with a number of firms, including an international company with 48,000 drivers in more than 39 countries and a managing director who is 92 years old and whose staff is worried about his driving.