The Rules of the Road
Every organization with motor vehicles not only needs policies and procedures, but some basic safety rules as well.
There is no magic number of how many or how few rules are appropriate. Rules need to be reasonable and reflect the scope of your operations.
Driver Safety Rules
Drivers are responsible for complying with all rules, including:
- Before driving, check that all occupants (incl. the driver) are wearing a seat belt.
- Drive the vehicle with the headlights illuminated.
- Unlicensed/unauthorized persons cannot operate a company motor vehicle. You may not gave them permission to operate any company vehicle.
- If impaired, affected or influenced by alcohol, illegal drugs, medication, illness, fatigue, or injury, do not operate a company motor vehicle.
- Distractions are a leading root cause in many crashes. While driving never engage in activities as using a cell phone for talking or texting, eating, using a computer, GPS or MP3 player, applying makeup, reading, looking at maps, or any other activity that takes a person’s eyes or attention away from driving.
- Radar detectors are illegal.
- Obey the posted maximum (or any minimum) speed limits at all times.
- Hitchhikers or unauthorized passengers are not allowed inside the motor vehicle.
- A motor vehicle that is mechanically unsafe to operate need to be repaired before it is driven.
- Secure any cargo or equipment on or in the vehicle, before driving.
- Move to another traffic lane or slow down when approaching an emergency vehicle along the side of the roadway
- Observe all state and local laws while operating the motor vehicle
- Never accept or take payments or gifts for carrying passengers, freight, or materials not authorized by the company
- Never push or pull another vehicle or tow a trailer without company authorization.
- Never transport flammable liquids and gases without prior authorization. If authorized, only DOT or UL approved containers are to be used, and only in limited quantities when necessary
- Use only issued reflective triangles for emergency stops. Ignition or burning flares can be a fire hazard or burn out in a short time.
Each organization should have its own, custom driving safety rules, depending on its operations. For example, if drivers work near traffic, that might include the mandatory use of proper personal protection equipment (PPE) as reflective vests.
Positive Rules are Better Than ‘Negative Rules’
One of Penick’s techniques while instructing golfers was to always be positive. He would tell anyone he was coaching only what to do to get something right— not what they shouldn’t do.
This is a good practice in writing organizational safety rules. Keep things positive as much as possible. If we expect positive results, we need to be positive at all times.
Another national company I worked with replaced the phase, “You must . . .” with “You need to . . .” It just sounds better when communicating.
Subtle changes like these can help make the difference in creating a high performance organization.
Thank you for reading this.