Safe driving procedures

Safe driving procedures 

The Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring staff who drive vehicles in the course of their work demonstrate safe, efficient driving skills and other good road safety habits at all times.  The Board of Trustees are also committed to maintaining all vehicles owned by the school in a safe, clean and roadworthy condition to ensure the maximum safety of the drivers, occupants and other road users, and reduce the impacts of school vehicles on the environment – this also applies to personal vehicles used for work purposes.

Code of conduct

It is expected that while driving school vehicles or their own vehicles for work purposes, staff must comply with traffic legislation, be conscious of road safety and demonstrate safe driving and other good road safety habits.

The following actions in school vehicles or their own vehicle for work purposes will be viewed as serious breaches of conduct and further action may be warranted:

  • drinking or being under the influence of drugs while driving
  • driving while disqualified or not correctly licensed
  • reckless or dangerous driving causing death or injury
  • failing to stop after a crash
  • acquiring demerit points leading to suspension of licence
  • any actions that warrant the suspension of a licence.

Responsibilities as an employee

Every driver transporting students or driving a school vehicle will:

  • be aged between 25 and 70, with a full driving licence and have at least five years driving experience with a full motor car licence.
  • ensure they hold a current driver licence for the class of vehicle they are driving and this licence is carried when driving
  • immediately notify the Principal or Executive Officer if their driver licence has been suspended or cancelled, or has had limitations placed upon it
  • be responsible and accountable for their actions when operating a school vehicle or driving for the purposes of work
  • display the highest level of professional conduct when driving a school vehicle
  • regularly check the oil, tyre pressures, radiator and battery levels of school vehicles they regularly use.  This will generally be the responsibility of the caretaker who has day to day use of the school van
  • comply with traffic legislation when driving
  • assess hazards while driving and anticipate ‘what if’ scenarios
  • drive within the legal speed limits, including driving to the conditions
  • wear a safety belt at all times
  • never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription and over the counter medication if they cause drowsiness – to do so will merit disciplinary measures
  • avoid distraction when driving – the driver will adjust car stereos/mirrors etc before setting off, or pull over safely in order to do so
  • report any near-hits, crashes and scrapes to the Principal or Executive Officer, including those that do not result in injury, and follow the crash procedures outlined in this procedure
  • report infringements to the Principal at the earliest opportunity
  • report vehicle defects to the Principal before the next vehicle use.
In addition, it is required that all drivers:
  • take regular and adequate rest breaks, at least every two hours
  • stop when tired
  • plan their journeys, taking into account pre-journey work duties, the length of the trip and post-journey commitments
  • stay overnight if driving time and non-driving duties exceed 10 hours in one day
  • for long distance travel, extreme care and vigilance must be given to prior activity when there has been physical activity, such as hiking reasonable distances for several days, prior to a road trip. Permission must be sought from the principal prior to any long distance travel and the principal may recommend that there be an observer in the vehicle who is awake at all times and trained to recognise the signs of driver fatigue.

If an employee is driving their own vehicle for the purposes of work, the same policies apply. In addition:

  • the employee must seek the Principal’s agreement before using their vehicle for work
  • the car must be legally registered, warranted and insured for the purposes of work – the employee must show evidence of this on request
  • the employee must not carry loads for which the vehicle is unsuited, nor may they carry more passengers than for whom there are seat belts
  • the vehicle must not be used in conditions for which it was not designed (such as off-road).

Child Restraints

As the driver, you are responsible for ensuring any child under 7 years of age is properly restrained by an approved child restraint that is appropriate for the age and size of the child. They must not travel in the vehicle if you cannot put them in an approved child restraint. The vehicle’s safety belt on its own is not an approved child restraint.

Pakuranga Heights School will provide approved booster seats for use by children travelling on school excursions.

Responsibilities as an employer

The school will take all steps to ensure school vehicles are as safe as possible and will not require staff to drive under conditions that are unsafe and/or likely to create an unsafe environment, physical distress, fatigue, etc.

The school will do this by undertaking the following tasks:

  • Giving priority to safety features when selecting new vehicles, including:
    • only buying and/or hiring vehicles that rate four or more stars on the ANCAP (Australasian New Car Assessment Program) tests
    • choosing vehicles with ESC (Electronic Stability Control), ABS brakes and side head-protecting airbags
    • only buying and/or hiring vehicles that are light coloured
    • fitting all vehicles with a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, reflective vest, torch and emergency triangle.

The person/position responsible for ensuring this is followed is the Principal.

  • Ensuring all vehicles are well maintained and that the equipment promotes driver, operator and passenger safety by:
    • servicing the vehicles according to manufacturers’ recommendations
    • setting up procedures where employees check vehicles’ oil, water, tyre pressures and general cleanliness on a monthly basis, then record the inspections
    • keeping maintenance schedules in the glove boxes of all vehicles, which are completed each time the vehicles are serviced in any way
    • following the maintenance schedules in the vehicles’ manuals
    • setting up a procedure to identify and rectify faults as soon as practicable.

The person/position responsible for ensuring this is followed is Principal.

  • Collecting and collating statistics on incidents, crashes and their causes, including:
    • the number of crashes
    • who was thought to be at fault?
    • the probable causes of the crashes and other contributors, such as unrealistic work schedules
    • the financial cost of all crashes
    • the number of prosecutions
    • the number of near-miss events
    • other costs, such as downtime, ACC compensation claims, temporary workers and lost productivity.

The person/position responsible for ensuring this is followed is the Principal.

  • Monitoring and managing work schedules to ensure they do not encourage unsafe driving practices by requiring drivers to take 10-minute breaks every two hours of driving.

The person/position responsible for ensuring this is followed is the Principal.

  • Identifying driver training needs and arranging appropriate training or retraining, including providing:
    • a thorough induction to the company’s road safety policies and procedures
    • driver training opportunities to all staff
    • driver assessment and required training as part of all staff inductions
    • advanced driver training or specific practical training as required and identified
    • regular staff seminars or refresher meetings on safety features, fatigue, driver responsibility, drink-driving and fuel-efficient driving
    • driver training log updates on personnel files.
The person/position responsible for ensuring this is followed is the Principal.
  • Encouraging safe driving behaviour by:
    • not paying staff speeding or other infringement fines
    • forbidding the use of mobile phones in vehicles while driving
    • encouraging regular breaks while driving
    • providing taxis and designated drivers to and from work social events
    • providing food and non-alcoholic drinks at work functions
    • encouraging the use of taxis and buses whenever necessary
    • ensuring the employer is informed if existing staff become unlicensed.

The person/position responsible for ensuring this is followed is the Principal.

  • Encouraging better fuel efficiency by:
    • setting up and promoting a car pool scheme for work car use
    • setting up and promoting a workplace travel plan
    • providing training on, and circulating information about, travel planning and efficient driving habits
    • encouraging the use of other transport and/or remote conferencing whenever practical.

The person/position responsible for ensuring this is followed is the Principal.

Procedures when there is an accident in a school vehicle

Immediately stop your vehicle at the scene or as close to it as possible, making sure you are not obstructing traffic. Ensure your own safety first. Help any injured people and call for assistance if needed.

Obtain the following information:

  • make, model and registration number of all vehicles involved 
  • name and address of owner and driver of all vehicles involved 
  • name and address of all witnesses 
  • name of all insurers 
  • Take photos of the following:
    • photograph all drivers involved and their license 
    • the position of vehicles involved in the accident 
    • damage sustained to vehicles involved

Give your name, home address and the school’s details to those involved in the crash.

If you damage another vehicle that is unattended, leave a note on the vehicle with your contact details.

Contact the police if there:

  • are injuries 
  • is a disagreement over the cause of the crash 
  • is damage to property other than your own 
  • is damage to the vehicle which looks to be worth more than $2500.

Report the crash to the Principal as soon as possible.

 Reviewed February 2017