By Joseph Evangelist
Executive Vice President, Transervice
As originally appeared in FleetOwner Magazine’s IdeaXchange
Operation Safe Driver Week is scheduled for July 14-20. During this week, law enforcement personnel are out on the roads looking for unsafe driving practices by drivers of both commercial vehicles and passenger cars. This year there will be a special focus on speeding, which has been identified as a contributing factor in 94% of all traffic crashes.
Drivers who are caught speeding are subject to citations as are those drivers who are engaging in other dangerous behavior such as distracted driving (texting or on a hand-held cell phone), improper lane change, following too closely, aggressive driving, failure to wear seatbelts, failure to obey traffic signals and, of course, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
While fleets should always be focused on safe driving, now might be a good time to do some reinforcing of the safe driving practices you expect drivers to adhere to. Perhaps schedule a special drivers’ meeting to restate/reinforce your corporate policy on safe driving, or post something on your corporate intranet to remind drivers about the event and to reiterate your fleet’s commitment to drivers obeying posted speed limits.
Beyond that, you also need to examine your internal practices to make sure that drivers are not put under undue pressure to complete deliveries in unrealistic timeframes causing them to disobey posted speed limits in order to make deliveries. If drivers are being subjected to subtle — or not so subtle — pressure to make delivery windows, they may be more inclined to speed in order to make the deadline. While everyone strives for on-time delivery, it should not be done at the expense of safe driving practices. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, sponsors of this special enforcement effort, and law enforcement officials are using the following message to get their point across: “Late won’t kill you, speeding will.”