The aim of this Safety Advice toolbox talk is to communicate company policy of ensuring that all drivers (including sub-contracted and agency drivers) drive within the Highway Code and follow company policy at all times paying particular attention to vulnerable road users.
This toolbox talk will cover various aspects of the Highway Code and our company driving standards policy.
It will highlight what your responsibilities are as a driver and help you to be safer on the roads.
If you haven’t signed a declaration stating that you have been issued with, read and understood the company policy on driving standards (Driver Handbook) then speak up, you need to have done this!
The talk will end with some questions, so pay attention!
Drivers should ensure the up keep of general driving standards and the safety of all road users.
This can mean:
- Drivers stay safe on the roads
- Speed limits are upheld
- The safety of vulnerable road users is improved
- The correct actions are taken following breakdowns and collisions
- Safety equipment (where applicable) is used correctly
- Avoiding the use of mobile phones and other in-vehicle technology unless safe to do so
- Drivers don’t drive when tired or under the influence of drink and drugs
How to maintain your driving standards
- Always obey the speed limit – remember they are NOT ‘targets’ but absolute limits (as stated in Rule 124 of the Highway Code – Speed limits)
- Never use a handheld mobile phone or other in vehicle technology whilst driving – even when in stationary traffic, If you need to make or take a call, pull over into a safe place and switch the engine off
- Drive safely
- anticipate and adjust to road and traffic conditions
- Drive smoothly, avoiding sudden harsh braking and rapid acceleration to avoid destabilising any load
- Do not eat, drink, smoke, listen to loud music or argue with passengers whilst driving (as stated in Rule 148 of the Highway Code – Safe driving and riding needs concentration)
- Always wear a seat belt whenever in the vehicle
- Make sure that you concentrate on the road as driving ‘in a fog’ or ‘on autopilot’ increases the risk of collisions
- Allow for the effect that your load may have on the vehicles handling characteristics and make sure its maximum authorised mass is not exceeded
Assess whether your ability to drive safely and legally is affected or likely to be affected by:
- Illegal or controlled substances
- A short or long-term physical condition
- Your emotional state
- Assess whether drivers hours regulations permit you to drive and take sufficient breaks
- Continue to make effective observations, including checks of blind spots, while manoeuvring
- Use a safe, systematic approach throughout, such as ‘mirrors, signal, manoeuvre, position, speed, look’ to maintain the safety of yourself and other road users
- Use reversing camera systems or proximity sensors effectively, where fitted
All too often drivers are being found in breach of basic driving standards which damages the reputation of the company.
Drivers need to be reminded of the wearing of seatbelts, the use of mobile phones, refraining from eating or smoking whilst driving and general driver courtesy when on the road.
As a driver you should adhere to both the required legal and FORS standards and drive within the Highway Code and company policy at all times paying particular regard to other road users
- The safety of our drivers and other road users is important for the company, Safer drivers are involved in fewer collisions, incur less points / fines, and are cheaper to insure
- It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving, This includes holding a mobile phone to read a text, check social media, take a photo or any other interactive communication function.
This applies even when a driver has stopped at traffic lights and is queuing in traffic.
You are four times more likely to be involved in an accident if you use a handheld device while driving
- Driving when tired is a significant contributory factor in road crashes, It is your responsibility to ensure you are fit to drive, You should plan your journey so you have time to take breaks
- Driving whilst under the influence drink or drugs is illegal, Any breach of this rule whilst you are working could result in your instant dismissal from employment as well as prosecution / imprisonment,
Remember it’s possible to be ‘over the limit’ from alcohol consumed the previous night – The desirable level of alcohol to have in your system is zero
- You should always comply with the speed limit on the road you are using and never drive faster than is appropriate for the prevailing conditions, If you break the speed limit you are putting yourself, your vehicle and other road users in danger
Driving within the Highway Code and company policy and paying particular regard to vulnerable road users will help to ensure you:
- Are a safer driver and contribute to improving road safety for all road users
- Operate within the framework of the law–Reduce your chances of receiving penalty points / fines or even being banned from driving
- Do not damage your reputation as well as the company’s,
In addition you will help the company to:–
- Reduce our insurance premiums due to you having fewer collisions
- Increase vehicle productivity and reduce the downtime of our vehicles that might have been involved in collisions
- Improve our reputation as a safe operator
- Help to win new work