Senior Management Commitment & Employee Involvement
Written Policies and Procedures
Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Checks
Crash Reporting and Investigation
Vehicle Selection, Maintenance and Inspection
Disciplinary Action System
These steps are from the NETS Traffic Safety Primer: A Guidebook for Employers.
Step 1: Senior Management Commitment and Employee Involvement
The safety of an organization's employees as they drive for work and to and from work is so important that it requires the attention of top-level management. Senior management can provide leadership, set policies, and allocate resources (staff and budget) to create a safety culture. Actively encouraging employee participation and involvement at all levels of the organization is a good practice and will help the effort to succeed. Workers and their representatives must be involved in the initial planning phase.
Step 2: Written Policies and Procedures
A written statement emphasizing the commitment to reducing traffic-related deaths and injuries is essential to a successful program. Create a clear, comprehensive and enforceable set of traffic safety policies and communicate them to all employ-ees. These are the cornerstones of an effective driver safety program. Post them throughout the workplace, distribute copies periodically, and discuss the policies at company meet-ings. Offer incentives for sticking to the rules, and point out the consequences of disregarding them. Below are sample policies that can be adapted for use by your company.
Sample Alcohol and Drug Use Policy
(Name of Company/Organization) has a vital interest in maintaining safe, healthy, and efficient working conditions for its employees. Therefore, the consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs by any employee during “duty hours” is prohib-ited. Duty hours consist of all working hours, including break periods and on-call periods, whether on or off company premises. The consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs while performing company business or while in a company facility is prohibited.
Sample Seat Belt Use Policy
(Name of Company/Organization) recognizes that seat belts are extremely effective in preventing injuries and loss of life. It is a simple fact that wearing your seat belt can reduce your risk of dying in a traffic crash by 45 percent in a car and by as much as 60 percent in a truck or SUV.
We care about our employees, and want to make sure that no one is injured or killed in a tragedy that could have been prevented by the use of seat belts. Therefore, all employees of (Name of Company/Organization) must wear seat belts when operating a company-owned vehicle, or any vehicle on com-pany premises or on company business; and all occupants are to wear seat belts or, where appropriate, child restraints when riding in a company-owned vehicle, or in a personal vehicle being used for company business. All employees and their families are strongly encouraged to always use seat belts and the proper child restraints whenever they are driving or riding in any vehicle, in any seating position.
Step 3: Driver Agreements
Establish a contract with all employees who drive for work purposes, whether they drive assigned company vehicles or drive their personal vehicles. By signing an agreement, the driver acknowledges awareness and understanding of the organization's traffic safety policies, procedures, and expecta-tions regarding driver performance, vehicle maintenance and reporting of moving violations.
Step 4: Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Checks
Check the driving records of all employees who drive for work purposes. You must screen out drivers who have poor driving records since they are most likely to cause problems in the future. The MVR should be reviewed periodically to ensure that the driver maintains a good driving record. Clearly define the number of violations an employee/driver can have before losing the privilege of driving for work, and provide training where indicated.
Step 5: Crash Reporting and Investigation
Establish and enforce a crash reporting and investigation pro-cess. All crashes, regardless of severity, should be report-ed to the employee's supervisor as soon as feasible after the incident. Company traffic safety policies and procedures should clearly guide drivers through their responsibilities in a crash situation. All crashes should be reviewed to determine their cause and whether or not the incidents were preventa-ble. Understanding the root causes of crashes and why they are happening, regardless of fault, forms the basis for elimi-nating them in the future.
Step 6: Vehicle Selection, Maintenance and Inspection
Selecting, properly maintaining and routinely inspecting company vehicles is an important part of preventing crashes and related losses.
It is advisable that the organization review and consider the safety features of all vehicles to be considered for use. Those vehicles that demonstrate “best in class” status for crash-worthiness and overall safety should be chosen and made available to drivers.
For the latest information on crash test ratings and other important vehicle safety information, visit www.safercar.gov. To report a concern about a defect or problem with your vehicle, contact the NHTSA Auto Safety Hotline at: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT.
Vehicles should be on a routine preventive maintenance schedule for servicing and checking of safety-related equip-ment. Regular maintenance should be done at specific mileage intervals consistent with the manufacturer's recom-mendations. A mechanic should do a thorough inspection of each vehicle at least annually with documented results placed in the vehicle's file.
Personal vehicles used for company business are not necessarily subject to the same criteria and are generally the responsibility of the owner. However, personal vehicles used on company business should be maintained in a manner that provides the employee with maximum safety and reflects positively on the company.
Step 7: Disciplinary Action System
Develop a strategy to determine the course of action after the occurrence of a moving violation and/or “preventable” crash. There are a variety of corrective action programs available; the majority of these are based on a system that assigns points for moving violations. The system should provide for progressive discipline if a driver begins to develop a pattern of repeated traffic violations and/or preventable crashes. The system should describe what specific action(s) will be taken if a driver accumulates a certain number of violations or preventable crashes in any pre-defined period.
Step 8: Reward/Incentive Program
Develop and implement a driver reward/incentive program to make safe driving an integral part of your business culture. Safe driving behaviors contribute directly to the bottom line and should be recognized as such. Positive results are realized when driving performance is incorporated into the overall evaluation of job performance. Reward and incentive programs typically involve recognition, monetary rewards, special privi-leges or the use of incentives to motivate the achievement of a predetermined goal or to increase participation in a program or event.
Step 9: Driver Training/Communication
Provide continuous driver safety training and communication. Even experienced drivers benefit from periodic training and reminders of safe driving practices and skills. It is easy to become complacent and not think about the consequences of our driving habits.
Step 10: Regulatory Compliance
Ensure adherence to highway safety regulations. It is important to clearly establish which, if any, local, state, and/or federal regulations govern your vehicles and/or drivers. These regulations may involve, but may not necessarily be limited to the:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT)
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)
Employment Standards Administration (ESA)