Recently, a motor carrier was placed out of service due to a range of reasons (Click Here for Article), but one of those reasons that caught my eye was “Widespread instances of drivers operating commercial passenger vehicles at speeds in excess of posted speed limits.”
This made me wonder how the auditors arrived at this conclusion.
- Toll receipt auditing?
- GPS records review through “e-discovery”?
- EOBR records or driver logs that showed getting from point “A” to point “B” in far less time than would be considered reasonable?
Regardless of the mechanism to arrive at this conclusion, the immediate defense by the carrier should be to explain how they monitor and “control” drivers to avoid unsafe behavior or risk taking while behind the wheel. Additionally, if those controls are deemed inadequate by the auditor, the fleet should be ready to prepare a remediation plan to curb the aggressive driving and keep it under control going forward.
If you use GPS or other systems that capture unsafe driving events (i.e. camera recorders, etc.) how do you measure performance violation rates?
- What’s an acceptable level of speeding, hard braking, rough cornering, number of recordings per week per driver, etc?
- How do you benchmark that against other operators to see if you’re above or below the norm for your type of operation?
- Is your rate going up or down?
- Do you have a plan to coach or re-train drivers when they exceed thresholds?
- Is that documented and is it followed (how would you prove that it’s followed?)
- Does your vendor help you solve these issues with reporting from their system and bench-marking against other clients?
At SafetyFirst we help our clients understand the metrics of our unsafe driver identification and coaching-remediation program. We provide:
- live, statistically relevant bench-marking by SIC code,
- training for BOTH the supervisor and the driver (one on how to coach/counsel and the other on the consequences of risk taking while behind the wheel)
- The industry’s ONLY driver training program for excessive speed (GPS alerts)
- “paper trails and/or electronic confirmation” of activity in case of audits, and
- these capabilities for about 1/100th of the cost of the GPS or camera systems.
- Policies and Procedures
- Roles and Responsibilities,
- Qualification and Hiring,
- Training and Communication,
- Monitoring and Tracking, and
- Meaningful Action
By reviewing each of these areas, a fleet operator has the chance to spot gaps in management practices, shore up communications plans with drivers and test to make sure that policies are being followed and enforced.
We recommend you investigate these FREE resources from FMCSA for developing a plan to address unsafe driving before an audit team considers your operation for review:
Much of safety work is mundane and un-glamorous, but when executed consistently, can be highly effective at minimizing injuries, fines and violations. Similarly, it can help bolster up-time, productivity and profitability.
Safer driving starts with a safety-aware, safety-vigilant driver, and this comes from managers who will compassionately intervene when performance issues arise. Coaching shows concern when it’s focused as a “conversation about safety” instead of a head-butting “confrontation about blame/fault“. At least that’s our opinion – how about you?