As an employer, do you have a driver safety policy? With increased costs for workers’ compensation claims and insurance costs for motor vehicles, not to mention the increase in risk exposure for lawsuits, it may be in your best interest to have one. Whether you reimburse employees for the use of a private motor vehicle for company business or provide delivery services with company-owned vehicles, it is a good idea to take a moment to review your policies and practices. Listed below are several key aspects of a policy for your consideration. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive.
- Compliance with law. Your motor vehicle safety policy should state that it will comply with all applicable state and federal laws.
- Coordination with other policies. Your policy should be coordinated with other policies including, but not limited to, the fitness-for-duty policy, alcohol and drug policy, and safety policy.
- Appropriate licenses. Your policy should require employees to have a current, valid license for the type of driving they do in the course of their work.
- Examination of driving record. You should conduct, at least annually, a review of the driving records of those employees who routinely drive for your organization.
- Standard for driving record. Your policy should also provide a standard for a safe driving record. For example, if your examination of an employee’s driving record reveals that the individual has two speeding tickets, will you fire or reprimand the person? Will you fire this individual for two drunk-driving violations, or is one enough?
- Seat belts. Your policy should require each employee to wear a seat belt/shoulder harness when operating or riding in any vehicle used for company business. The policy should apply to company-owned vehicles, employee-owned vehicles, and rented vehicles used in the course of business.
- Driver’s safety awareness training. You should appropriately require employees to undergo driver safety training. If an employee will be operating a motor vehicle routinely, you may require the successful completion of an annual driver safety program. For employees who drive only occasionally, completion of a driver safety program every three years may be sufficient.
- Alcohol and drug use. Your policy should forbid employees from operating any vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicant. You should define what you mean by intoxication. Intoxication can mean being under the influence of any illegal drug, being under the influence of a prescription or over-the-counter medication which causes drowsiness, having a blood alcohol level of .08, or some other standard.
- Accident reports. Your policy should require employees to complete accurate, written accident reports.
- Insurance. If your employees operate their own vehicles while on company business, you should establish what insurance coverage they are to carry on their vehicles. Similarly, you will want to specify what coverage employees are to provide for operation of company vehicles. Essentially, you do not want employees to perceive that if they are involved in an accident that is their fault, the company, and only the company, pays, and the employees have no financial responsibility for accidents they caused.
- Safe use of vehicles. Your policy should state that vehicles may not be overcrowded, may not be used in races, may not be driven at speeds in excess of the speed limit, and similar rules.
- Traffic citations. Your policy should state whether there are any circumstances under which the company will reimburse employees who receive citations for traffic violations. You should also require employees to immediately report the receipt of any traffic citations.
- Title to vehicle. If employees use their vehicles while driving for you, you should state that the employees are only to use their own vehicles of which they have the title.
- Passengers. Your policy should address the issue of passengers. If you are a delivery service, you may want to prohibit any passengers, even co-workers, who are not authorized in the vehicle. Other employers may want to allow passengers who are co-workers.
- Delivery services. If you use employees for delivering goods to customers, you should develop a set of rules regarding security measures such as locking the doors, not picking up hitchhikers, keeping money out of sight, not discussing the amount of cash that is carried, and the like.
- Review. Your motor vehicle policy should state that it will be reviewed at least annually.
While the suggestions outlined above for creating a safe driving policy may seem overwhelming, they are certainly worthy of consideration. For more information on policies for your workplace, you can contact the Employers’ Association at www.eaconnect.com. iBi