Safe driving policies
Creating a safe driving policy falls under Occupational Health and Safety requirements and once created, community service organisations should ensure employees are aware of policies and can easily access them along with other organisational policies. It is also important that volunteers are covered by an organisation's safe driving policies and procedures.
Besides compliance with Occuational Health and Safety law, safer driving policies are important for reducing accidents which can have a severe impact on organisations with limited resources and small fleets e.g. lost productivity when an employee needs to take time off work or when a vehicle is written off and higher insurance costs.
Developing a safe driving policy
The Roads and Traffic Authority and VicRoads provide detailed information on developing safe driving programs for an organisation:
Topic areas that may be included in safer driving policies and programs are:
- alcohol and drug use
- seat belts
- driver fatigue
- mobile phone and electronic device use
- using vehicle safety features e.g. daytime running lights
- trip planning including reasonable driving task timeframes
- accident procedures
- general techniques e.g. maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles and using indicators and horns
- medical conditions and assessing fitness to drive
Benefits of implementing safe driving policies include:
- decreased injuries to employees
- increased productivity
- lower vehicle repair and replacement costs
- decreased workers compensation claims
- decreased insurance premiums
- improved staff morale
- improved public and business reputation.
Monitoring and promotion
Once a safer driving policy has been written and implemented, it is very important to monitor performance and relevance to the organisation's needs. Keeping track of safety performance involves collecting, analysing, and reporting on accident history. Over time, accidents can be identified by:
- vehicle type
- driver characteristics
- time and day
- type of trip.
Crash statistics can also be used to calculate:
- rates of crashes
- percentage of accidents 'at fault'.
Check whether rates have increased or decreased and whether driving performance has improved. This will assist in identifying additions or amendments to be made to policies and gaps in driver training.
Sample policies and procedures
Links to sample safer driving policies and procedures:
Supported by the Community Sector Investment Fund (external link - opens in a new window).