10 Ways to Increase Driver Safety to Policy Compliance
9. Communicate Regularly
Let’s face it, fleet drivers know what they should do behind the wheel. They know they should not speed, follow too closely, drink and drive, etc. Ensuring driver compliance with fleet safety policy is a combination of proper screening, tracking performance, safety training, and perhaps most importantly, repetition. Regular communications with fleet drivers should include information regarding safety and safe driving.
Many companies publish a safety newsletter, which can be in hard copy or electronic. These are extremely useful in keeping safety paramount in the minds of fleet drivers. A safety newsletter can contain defensive driving tips, highlight various portions of the safety policy, and include an FAQ (frequently asked questions) section with announcements and photos of safe driving awards. The more drivers hear about safety, the more likely they are to comply with policy.
It can also be helpful to have the CEO or other senior executive repeat mention of the policy, his/her endorsement thereof, and provision of authority to the fleet manager for its execution every year. Repetition of policy items on a regular basis will ultimately have an effect on compliance as drivers think of that communication when policy issues arrive.
10. Review & Update Policy
We’ve described fleet policy as "fluid." This is true of any company policy document as rules, regulations, and circumstances change rapidly. What seemed a good idea has unintended negative consequences or a better idea is suggested. Policy can become obsolete as the vehicle fleet industry changes, and if policy isn’t reviewed and updated, compliance can become more difficult, even impossible.
At least once each year, gather those stakeholders included in the original policy development to discuss what may have changed in their areas that might require an appropriate change in fleet policy. Then, as changes are made and policy is updated, communicate these changes not only to the drivers, but to their supervisors, middle and senior management, and particularly to that senior executive who has provided the original policy endorsement.
Interim communication is a must as well. For example, a change in human resources or risk management policy might also impact fleet. Encourage those disciplines to keep the fleet manager informed when this happens, so if fleet policy change is necessary, it can be made promptly.
Include, Plan, Communicate
To recap, 10 tips on increasing driver compliance with fleet safety policy are:
- Include all stakeholders in policy development.
- Obtain policy endorsement at the highest management level possible.
- Provide easy access to policy documents.
- Keep it simple.
- Demand universal application.
- Obtain driver sign off.
- Track exceptions.
- Reward compliance, punish non-compliance.
- Communicate regularly.
- Review policy regularly.
If taken together, these tips can seem daunting to a fleet manager whose time and resources are limited. However, none are especially complex or difficult, and over time, they can be developed into a regular process.