DRIVING STANDARDS POLICY
Anyone driving on business shall be familiar with the highway code and company driving policies and must follow the guidance supplied at all times and pay particular regard to vulnerable road users.
Company vehicles are only to be used by drivers who hold a current and valid driving licence. Any conviction for driving offences, any driving endorsements and any fines incurred must be reported immediately to line manager. You are personally responsible for the payment of any fine or fixed penalty incurred whilst in charge of the vehicle.
If you are considered to be acting carelessly or recklessly in your use of the vehicle, you will be subject to action under the Disciplinary Procedure (and this may involve the withdrawal of the vehicle where appropriate). If you are prosecuted or convicted of a driving offence, which results in a period of disqualification and the holding of a licence, is an essential requirement of the job, this will result in your dismissal.
General Personal Safety around Vehicles
Avoid working at height unless it is essential. Keep the soles of your footwear clean to reduce the risk of slipping. Follow safe systems of work for loading and unloading vehicles. Use the ‘three-point hold’ rule and keep at least three points of contact with the vehicle, moving one limb at a time and testing the new hold before moving on. Use safe ways of getting on or off the vehicle when carrying out maintenance above ground level, for example by using gantries or tower scaffolds. Wear appropriate PPE such as high visibility clothing.
You must immediately report any and every accident or incident in which a vehicle in your charge becomes involved, regardless of fault and whether or not persons or property are affected.
In the event of an accident or collision;
Call emergency services if required
Report directly to management
Do not give any statement to any other party unless requested to do so by police
If other party admits liability ask them to write and sign statement to this effect
Take details of all other parties involved in the accident / collision and if safe to do so take photos
In the event of a breakdown;
Call emergency services if required (if vehicle in a dangerous location)
If not safe to remain in the vehicle move to a safe location
Report directly to management to arrange recovery or contact recovery provider directly
The consumption of alcohol or drugs prior to or during the course of driving is strictly prohibited and infringement of this rule will result in your summary dismissal.
Only authorised personnel may drive the Company’s vehicles. Unauthorised passengers must not be carried in vehicles, nor must vehicles be used for personal purposes without permission.
The appropriate documentation must be carried at all times (e.g. insurance details), and you must ensure that all security devices are operable when the vehicle is left unattended.
You must ensure that the vehicle is kept in good condition. This includes keeping it clean and ensuring that the tyre pressure, lights, oil, water etc. are up to the required standard. You must not drive the vehicle in an unroadworthy condition. Any defects must be reported immediately to management. Vehicle should be checked on a daily basis.
Where appropriate, you are responsible for ensuring that any service, maintenance and repair is carried out.
Where you are responsible for any damage or loss to the vehicle the Company reserves the right to insist on you rectifying the damage at your own expense or paying the excess part of any claim on the insurers.
No Smoking in any Company vehicles.
You will need to produce your driving licence or licence check code each year, or as otherwise requested, so that a copy can be kept on file and validity of licence checked as well as signing company vehicles form.
You must not have modifications made, or extras fitted to the vehicle, without prior permission from management.
If you are the driver of a commercial vehicle you are responsible for any load until a signed receipt for delivery is received. It is your responsibility to ensure that signatures are legible and accompanied by the receiver's printed name.
You must comply with all statutory and Company regulations regarding the recording of daily mileage, journeys undertaken and driving hours, and must not exceed maximum driving hours.
In-cab Technology / Mobile Devices
It is an offence to use hand-held mobile phones whilst driving. You will be liable for prosecution if you are holding a mobile phone or any other type of hand-held device to send or receive any sort of data. You are regarded to be driving if you are in charge of a vehicle with its engine running on a public road, even if the vehicle is stationary. It is therefore strictly forbidden for you to use hand-held mobile phones whilst driving.
A mobile phone may only be used where there is an in-coming call or an out-going voice activated call through a hands-free device that is activated without a need to hold the phone at any time.
If a mobile phone is installed in your vehicle, it may only be used for business purposes or in an emergency unless prior authorisation to do so has been given; and in accordance with the law.
When you need to operate the mobile phone you must stop and park the vehicle where it is safe and lawful to do so and with the engine switched off. Whilst driving, you must not use the text message facility on the mobile phone, or if available through such a phone, an image facility or internet access.
Driver Responsibilities and Safe Driving
You must ensure that you have proper control of a vehicle that you are driving at all times and ensure that driving responsibly and professionally.
All drivers must also;
Observe speed limits, all other road traffic laws and highway code
Wear seat belts where fitted and required
Avoid any and all distractions such as smoking, eating or drinking while driving
Drive considerately, responsibly and courteously and avoid conflict with other road users taking extra care to share the road safely with vulnerable road users
Develop a safe and economical driving style
Report any conviction for driving offences, fines or any licence endorsements
Report any medical condition or if taking any medication that can affect ability to drive.
Report any changes to existing or new medical conditions that may affect your ability to drive
Use all provided safety equipment provided when required
Wear corrective eyewear if required (It is a criminal offence to drive a motor vehicle if a driver cannot read a standard number plate in good daylight from 20.5 metres)
Take particular care when vulnerable road users are observed and to look out for vulnerable road users
Drive safely on all road types and understand the risks and safe driving approach for each road type
Drive safely in all weather conditions and safe driving approach for adverse weather and understand when it is not safe to drive
Ensure any load is adequately secured and not overloaded or unevenly loaded
Comply with drivers hours and working times
Comply with all company safe operating procedures and FORS standards
Ensure that necessary paperwork and documentation is in vehicle at all times
Preventing Fatigue While Driving
HSE guidance suggests that drivers should take a 20 minute break for every 2 hours of driving to avoid fatigue which is a major cause of driving incidents due to loss of concentration. Drivers should not drive if they are overly tired or in danger of falling asleep, if feeling tired drivers should stop in a safe location and take a break before continuing their journey. Long journeys or journeys with a very early start / late night should be avoided with consideration given to overnight stay where practicable.
Drivers Hours and Working Time
Drivers hours are monitored to ensure meeting legal requirements in terms of working time regulations. Tacographs are monitored on an ongoing basis and any infringements are reviewed.
Fuel Efficient Driving and Reduction of Engine Idling
Driving style can have a significant impact on fuel efficiency as can avoiding engine-idling wherever possible. Fuel efficient driving techniques include;
Looking well ahead and anticipating slows or stops to try to keep the vehicle moving and avoiding unnecessary gear changes
Fuel used is proportional to the speed your vehicle is travelling. A 5% reduction in fuel consumption can be achieved simply by reducing your speed from 56 to 50 mph
Using the momentum of the vehicle will save fuel
Harsh braking uses more fuel and requires an can increase the number of fuel-inefficient gear changes
Use of constant speeds on motorways and dual carriageways will lead to fewer gear changes
Correctly inflated tyres offer less resistance on the road, improving fuel economy, giving greater stability and reducing the risk of accidents
Routing and Scheduling
When planning a journey consideration should be given to selecting the safest and most efficient route avoiding congestion hot-spots and also minimising the potential for interaction with vulnerable road users. Routing should take into account drivers hours regulations, weather conditions, driver fatigue and light levels.
Danger to pedestrians - where possible ensure there are no pedestrians in the area prior to any manoeuvres and if not possible seek assistance to clear and direct pedestrians.
Reversing should be kept to a minimum, but if it is required, ensure that you have a clear view at all time and look out for pedestrians and other vehicles.
General manoeuvring – ensure area around vehicle is clear before engaging gear for forward or reverse movements, turning or parking.
Before reversing you should always ask;
• can I avoid the need to reverse,
• can I remove people from the danger area,
• is there enough space for reversing.
• can I minimise the reversing distance.
A banksman should be used if available when reversing, before starting confirm with the banksman what signals are to be used and identify a safe position for him to stand. Keep the banksman visible at all times when reversing - if you lose sight of banksman STOP.
Parking – park on level, even ground wherever possible. Where this isn’t possible and parked on gradient ensure vehicle facing down the slope.
Trailers can only be towed if licence specifically includes towing. Towing a trailer will also reduce the speed you’re allowed to travel at. You MUST NOT tow more than your licence permits.
Make sure you have an adequate view of the road behind you.
Coupling and Uncoupling
Ensure that coupling and uncoupling areas are well lit, with firm and level surfaces. You should be properly trained to carry out coupling / uncoupling activities safely and follow safe system of work including ensuring that you are wearing the appropriate clothing and personal protective equipment.
All vehicles must be locked when unattended and keys / fobs are locked securely in office when vehicles are not in use.