Driving at Work Policy

1.0 Purpose

This policy outlines the Clocktower Cars driver risk management arrangements, and provides general guidance / procedures to follow and sample document templates, in relation to managing the risks associated with employees, drivers and authorised volunteers using owned/leased vehicles, or their own vehicle, or to carry out Clocktower related business activities.The guidance is designed to ensure we comply with (as far as is reasonably practical) the general principles of the Health & Safety at Work (1974) Act and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (1999).

2.0 Applicability

This policy applies to all individuals, whether employees, drivers, volunteers, or governors, who are:

  • Driving Clocktower owned or leased1vehicles, whether empty or to transport people or equipment between locations (including as part of education visits)
  • Using privately owned vehicles to transport service users to and from Clocktower related activities. In line with Guidance for Safer Working Practice, wherever possible and practicable it is advisable that transport is undertaken other than in private vehicles and with at least one adult additional to the driver acting as an escort.

For the Clocktower’s policy in relation to using privately owned vehicles for other business use e.g. travel to meetings / training events, or working in other locations, please see Annex 3.

3.0 Roles & Responsibilities

Individual staff members who drive in work time, whether using an Clocktower owned/leased vehicle or a private vehicle to transport service users, are responsible for reading and adhering to this policy. Colleagues using their own vehicles for other business use are responsible for reading & adhering to Annex

3.Clocktower based staff and Directors are responsible for ensuring that this policy is communicated and implemented.

This includes:

  • Establishing local Clocktower operating procedures for practical implementation of the policy
  • Ensuring that relevant staff are aware of this policy and local Clocktower operating procedures
  • Maintaining records which demonstrate that necessary checks (etc.) have taken place.

Clocktower Cars should also ensure that the Educational Visits and Safeguarding / Child Protection policies are adhered to, if applicable to the journey being undertaken.

4.0 Legal Duties Summary

Each driver has the following legal responsibilities, to:

Ensure their vehicle is in a roadworthy condition by undertaking regular and routine vehicle checks

  •  Hold a current valid driving licence suitable for the vehicle to be driven
  • Ensure the vehicle has a current road fund licence (and if applicable) section 19 permit disc displayed correctly on the windscreen.
  • Arrange appropriate insurance (for privately owned vehicles) including use of the vehicle on Clocktower/Trust/ Authories business
  • Arrange an MOT test (for privately owned vehicles) at the appropriate times and hold the relevant certificate
  • Abide by appropriate legislation, regulations and guidance contained within the highway code, a copy of the highway code can be downloaded from: www.gov.uk/highway-code
  • Drive in a safe and courteous manner ensuring any passengers are wearing seatbelts and any cargo is appropriately and safely secured
  • Ensuring any fines, penalties or parking violations incurred whilst driving on Clocktower/Trust/Authories business (whether in a Clocktower or personally owned vehicle) are paid by the driver who has incurred them, reimbursement will NOT be made by the Clocktower/Trust/Authories
  • To notify their Clocktower immediately of any significant changes in their ability and or status to drive.

Under the Trust/Authories’s Staff Code of Conduct colleagues whose work involves driving must declare any motoring offences to their Clocktower based staff or Director (central team).

5.0 Requirements in relation to driving on Clocktower business

Before driving on ‘Clocktower business’ (as defined in section 2.0) for the first time a member of staff or volunteer will need to complete the Driving at Work Request Form (Annex 2) and be authorised by the Operations Director or Director of the Clocktower Cars (or their nominated delegate, e.g. Business Manager). This will include providing all relevant documentary evidence requested, so appropriate checks can be undertaken, and copies of related information retained by the Clocktower. Local Clocktower operating procedures should be clearly set out and communicated.Thereafter, it is recommended that Clocktower Cars choose a date in the year when all staff who use, or may use, a vehicle during the year are asked to submit all their documents. They can also be re-issued with the relevant policy documents, and asked sign to say they understand all responsibilities.

5.1 Qualified to drive

All persons who drive on Clocktower business should present their driving licence for inspection by a designated member of staff on an annual basis.

These checks are to ascertain an individual’s continued qualification to drive. In the event of any changes to their licence during the interim, it is the individual colleague’s responsibility to notify the Clocktower as soon as practical, so relevant information can be updated.   Any endorsements added to the licence will be reviewed in respect of their nature and a decision taken with regard to the continued suitability of the individual to drive on Clocktower related business, taking in to account the safety of staff and service users alike. Any such information will be treated in confidence and held securely by the Clocktower at all times.Drivers who have 6 points or more on their licence will not be allowed to drive the Clocktower vehicles and/or transport service users in their own vehicle, unless this is agreed by exception with the Director or Trust/Authories.

5.2 Road Fund Licence and Insurance

All vehicles irrespective of ownership, must have a current valid Road Fund Licence.

All persons who drive Clocktower owned vehicles (e.g. the vehicles) are automatically covered by the Clocktower insurance policy, providing they are registered as an authorised Clocktower driver, have an appropriate licence and meet the other criteria as set out in section 5.4 below.

The law requires all persons who drive on the public highway to be adequately and appropriately insured. Colleagues using their own vehicle to transport service users must ensure their motor insurance policy covers them for this, and provide a copy of a valid insurance certificate evidencing this on an annual basis.

5.3 Fitness to drive

It is every individual’s responsibility to ensure that they are medically fit to drive on the public highway, irrespective of whether they are doing so as an individual for social, domestic or pleasure purposes, or whether they are doing so as a work-related activity.

Drivers of Clocktower vehicles, or using their own vehicle to transport pupils/service users, must declare to Clocktower Cars Health and Safety Manager if they are suffering from any medical condition which might adversely affect their ability to drive safely (e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, visual impairment). Such staff may be referred to Occupational Health for an assessment in order to advise the individual concerned and the Trust/Authories regarding the correct course of action and available alternatives (where applicable). Further guidance on health & driving is available at www.gov.uk

The Clocktower will seek to support individuals, wherever practical, to ensure that fitness to drive is maintained, where the person drives on behalf of the Clocktower either as an essential part of their employment, or where driving is a regular part of an approved activity they undertake (e.g. driving an Clocktower vehicles).

Drivers are required to have adequate eyesight. If you need to wear glasses, contact lenses, etc. then these must be worn to drive. If you have any concerns about your eyesight, it is your responsibility to arrange a test and to follow the advice given. The NHS recommends that most people should have an eye sight test every 2 years.

5.4 Vehicles drivers

Colleagues should only be required to drive an Clocktower/Trust/Authories vehicles if they volunteer to do so, or it is a requirement of an advertised role.A vehicles is a passenger carrying vehicle with a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 16 passenger seats (plus the driver’s seat). The passenger limit for the vehicle must not be exceeded.

UK law requires all vehicles drivers to: ·           be over 21 years of age

  • have held a UK car Licence for 3 years
  • have an entitlement to drive the vehicles in question (this depends on when someone took their driving test, whether they have taken any additional tests, the weight of the vehicle, and whether or not a trailer is being towed).

Further guidance can be found here

https://www.epsom-ewell.gov.uk/business/licensing-permits/taxis/drivers-licence-hackney-carriage-or-private-vehicle

The law states that it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that any vehicle driven on the public highway is safe and fit for use, this includes the safe carriage of items and people.

Using own vehicle: in the case of employees who use their own vehicle to transport pupils/service users, it is their responsibility to ensure that the vehicle has a valid MOT certificate (where applicable), is properly serviced & maintained. A best practice driver checklist is provided in Annex 1.

Using vehicles owned, leased or hired by the Clocktower/ Car Rentals: appropriate servicing and maintenance arrangements will be established in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations, to ensure that the vehicle is fit for use.

Drivers of Clocktower vehicles should however check the vehicle before use to satisfy themselves it is safe to use for their intended journey, and arrangements for this should be set out in the local Clocktower operating procedures. A vehicle checklist is provided within each vehicle so users can document the checks they have undertaken. A template copy is also provided in Annex 2 of this document.

5.6 Road Safety

Drivers must not drive if advised not to do so by their doctor, and never whilst under the influence of alcoholic drink, intoxicating drugs or other substances which are likely to impair judgment or the ability to react quickly and appropriately to road conditions or circumstances.

Employees who are driving whilst at work are required to comply fully with the law, Highway Code and any other relevant safety information or instruction. Any member of staff who fails to do so and are subsequently prosecuted and or fined, irrespective of if they are driving their own vehicle or a Trust/Authories vehicle, may be subject to disciplinary action and the Clocktower Cars/Trust/Authories will not reimburse any costs, fines, parking tickets or loss of income incurred.

Staff using Clocktower/Trust/Authories vehicles, or their own vehicle to transport pupils/service users, will comply with the legislation regarding ‘no smoking’ and ensure compliance with the legislation by any passengers being carried.

Colleagues are expected to follow the Safe Working Procedures set out in Annex 1.

5.7 Reporting Accident and Incidents

Where employees who are driving Clocktower owned or leased vehicles, or vehicles which are hired by the Clocktower for their use, are involved in road traffic accidents or incidents which result in damage to vehicles, loss or damage to property or injury to persons, must not admit or accept liability for the accident, and must complete the vehicle damage form (Annex Y) immediately, and notify the designated person as soon as possible in the event same day. It is recommended that copies of this form are held in each Clocktower vehicle, along with information on our insurance cover and vehicle recovery arrangements.  Where employees transporting pupils/service users in their own vehicle are involved in a road traffic accident, they should notify their Clocktower as a matter of urgency. The employee will be responsible for claiming on their own insurance for any damage to their vehicle: Clocktower Cars/Trust/Authories will not be liable. Following an accident/incident the driver should arrange to meet with the designated person to have a post incident discussion/debrief, about what happened, how you feel and if you require any additional support or training.

6.0 Review

Clocktower Cars/ Trust/Authorities will review this policy annually and/or if any significant changes in legislation occurs.

Annex 1

Safe Working Procedures

  1. Mobile Telephones and other Electronic Equipment

It is an offence to operate a mobile phone, sat nav, laptop or other electronic device while driving if it distracts the driver from concentrating on driving. It is our Clocktower Cars policy that under no circumstances will staff operate a mobile phone or other hand held device whilst driving an Clocktower owned or leased vehicle, or whilst using a private vehicle to transport pupils/service users, including via hands-free kit.

Calls / text messages / emails should only be made or answered when the vehicle is parked and the engine is switched off.

  1. Smoking in Vehicles

In all parts of the UK, it is the law that smoking in public enclosed spaces is not permitted. Workplaces (including cars used on Clocktower business) are included in “enclosed public spaces”. Therefore drivers and passengers of any vehicle (Clocktower owned or not) must not smoke inside the vehicle whilst on Clocktower related business.

It is our Company policy that those driving on Clocktower business, or who are a passenger in such a vehicle, do not smoke in the vehicle (whether in the UK or abroad) or when stood next to an Clocktower owned/leased vehicle whilst it is parked.

  1. Passengers

The number of passengers must not exceed the number which the vehicle is designed to carry.

The safety of all passengers transported by staff on Clocktower related business/trips are the responsibility of the driver. In line with Guidance on Safer Working Practice, wherever possible and practicable it is advisable that transport is undertaken other than in private vehicles and with at least one adult additional to the driver acting as an escort.

Consideration should be given to the maturity and behavioural issues of children transported and it is recommended that seating plans are devised in advance that will minimise potential driver distraction during journeys.

  1. Use of Seat Belts, Head Rests and Child Seats

Drivers and passengers of all vehicles must wear seatbelts at all times whilst the engine is switched on even if the vehicle is stationery. Passengers who are not exempt and refuse to comply with the driver’s instructions regarding the wearing of seatbelts should not be transported, this includes young people.in addition ensure where headrests are provided that they are correctly adjusted to afford the maximum protection against whiplash by ensuring when the head is rested on it that –

  • The centre part of the head restraint should be at least the height of the eyes or the top of the ears · The restraint should be as close to the back of the head as is comfortable.

The driver must ensure that all children under 14 years of age wear seat belts or sit in an approved child restraint. This should be a baby seat, child seat, booster seat or booster cushion appropriate to the child’s weight and size, fitted to the manufacturer’s instructions. (Refer to the table below for further guidance).

Drivers who are carrying children in vehicles should ensure that:

  • Children do not sit behind the rear seats in an estate car or hatchback, or on side facing rear seats in an SUV type vehicle unless a special child seat has been fitted
  • The child safety door locks, where fitted, are used when children are in a car · Children are kept under control at all times
  • A rear facing baby seat is NEVER fitted to a seat protected by an airbag
  • Children are kept supervised and occupied by another passenger, particularly on long journeys · If a situation arises, they stop in a safe place to attend to it
  • Route selection when travelling with young children includes scheduled stops where toilet and meal facilities exist
  • They never transport more children than the vehicle has the required restraint systems for, and never use seatbelts for more than one child or for a child and adult with the child sitting on the adult’s lap
  • They always ensure that the child restraint is suitable and fitted to the manufacturer’s specifications by a competent person
  • Children are NEVER left unattended in the vehicle for any period of time

This table summarises the main legal requirements for wearing of seatbelts for adults and children and the associated responsibility for ensuring compliance with legislation:

5          Pregnant Drivers & Passengers

Like any driver or passenger, pregnant women must wear a seat belt, unless their doctor certifies that they are medically exempt, if this is the case Clocktower Cars/ Trust/Authories will require appropriate medical evidence of this exemption. Whilst it is appreciated that wearing a seatbelts may not be comfortable, it does provide safety for both expectant mother and the unborn baby. Compared to the average motorist, pregnant women face additional safety concerns when riding in motor vehicles.

Pregnant drivers / passengers are offered the following guidance to help minimise any additional risks they may face

  • Adjust the seat, as far back as it is safe and practical to do so to maximise room.

Ensure that you have two good handholds when entering or exiting the vehicle. ·    Get assistance if entry or exit from the vehicle is difficult.

  • When possible, ride as a passenger rather than drive to avoid potential contact with the steering wheel.
  • A lap-and-diagonal standard seat belt is preferable to a lap-only belt.
  • On a standard safety belt, always position the lap strap across the hips, to ensure it fits comfortably under the bump.
  • The diagonal strap should be placed between the breasts over the sternum around the side of the bump.
  • Ensure the belt ‘clicks’ in to the buckle securely, as you may not be able to observe this.
  • Never use the lap portion of the belt with the diagonal strap behind you, even if the diagonal strap is causing breast discomfort (especially in later months).
  • If fitted the air bag should not be disconnected and remain operational.
  • Try to always drive a vehicle that allows the most clearance between the steering wheel and your abdomen.
  • If adjustable steering wheel fitted maximize abdomen-to-wheel clearance.
  • If wearing a coat remove it or adjust the coat to make sure it does not interfere with low placement of the lap belt.
  • If driving for long periods take regular breaks to avoid driver fatigue and uncomfortable seatbelt or seating positions.
  • Ensure that the vehicle that you intend to use has no defects that might cause a breakdown, and always ensure you have a mobile telephone with you to call the emergency services.

6  Route planning and rest breaks

When planning a journey it is important to allow adequate time for traffic delays, diversions, rest breaks, fuel and food stops. The route plan should also take into account the experience of driver, the prevailing or expected weather conditions, and the needs (medical or otherwise) of passengers. On long journeys the Clocktower Cars recommends stopping every 2 hours, depending on the driving and driver’s condition. For very long journeys (over 6 hours), consideration should be giving to breaking the journey with an overnight stay. If you feel tired you should always stop as soon as it is safe to do so and take a comfort break. It is important that drivers plan to minimise such situations, but if you are unable to continue the journey safely then you must stop and rest to avoid the risk of an accident. If parking sensors are not fitted and the driver lacks confidence in reversing, they may ask an adult passenger to supervise them if it is practical and safe to do so.

7  Driver Use of Alcohol and or Drugs and or Prescribed Medicines

Many people who have taken alcohol or illegal drugs the night previously may still be operating a vehicle illegally due to their retention in the body. This makes clear that “zero alcohol is the expectation when driving on Clocktower business”. All staff should be aware that in situations where you are found to be operating under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at work (whether driving or not) this will be regarded as potential gross misconduct, and dealt with under the Trust/Authories’s disciplinary procedure. Drivers should also be aware that the purchase and use of ‘over the counter’ medicines might render them liable to higher risk when operating a vehicle and should always seek the advice of a pharmacist or their GP before using the medicines if intending to drive.

8  Driver Vehicle Checks

In line with section 5.5 of this policy:

staff or authorised volunteers driving Clocktower owned/leased or hired vehicles (including vehicles) are responsible for undertaking a pre-use check in line with local Clocktower operational procedures.

  • staff who use their own vehicle to transport pupils/service users are responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is properly serviced & maintained. The checklist below is included as a best practice guide.

9   Weather Conditions

Drivers should use facilities such as local radio stations, information from the Met Office or AA Weather watch to check weather conditions that may affect their journey or arrival times. Do not drive on Clocktower Cars/Trust/Authories business if the Roadside Agencies are advising you not to. If in doubt contact your line manager for advice.

Be aware of your own level of experience and competence in operating a vehicle in adverse weather conditions, in addition to the limitations and condition of your vehicle when travelling in adverse weather conditions, any fault can become a serious risk if the weather is or becomes severe. Further guidance on driving in adverse weather conditions can be found on-line, for example: http://www.rospa.com/road-safety/advice/drivers/better-driving/winter-tips/ .

10        Mileage Reimbursement

Reimbursement of mileage costs, if agreed in advance with your line manager, in respect of use of private vehicles for Clocktower business can be claimed only when authorised by line manager. The process for refueling Clocktower owned / leased vehicles (e.g. vehicles) should be set out in local Clocktower operating procedures.

11        Lone Working

If staff are driving alone they should leave a mobile number with a nominated contact in case of an emergency (e.g. the Clocktower office – to be specified in local Clocktower operating procedures). They should inform the nominated contact of their destination, intended arrival time and contact them to advise when they have arrived. The same applies for a return trip (unless the trip is so short as to make this unnecessary e.g. popping out for 10 minutes to the bank).

Annex 2

Templates & Checklists

This section provides a range of recommended templates and checklists to minimise the risks associated with driving on work related business.

  • Driving at Work Request Form
  • Vehicle Damage/Accident Report Form
  • MB1 – Vehicles Pre Use Checklist
  • MB2 – Vehicles Weekly Checklist
  • MB3 – Vehicles Use Risk Assessment Matrix

Annex 3

Policy on using private vehicles for business

Introduction

This policy relates to employees who use their private vehicle for business use which does not include the transport of pupils/service users. For example, to travel to meetings/training courses, or between different Clocktower sites. For the avoidance of doubt, this does not include travel to and from a colleague’s usual place of work.

Requirements

The Clocktower Cars advises these drivers to ensure that: ·         they are adequately insured

  • their vehicle is suitably maintained and in a road-worthy condition
  • they are fit and competent to drive on the day the journey is undertaken
  • they have considered the prevailing or expected weather conditions before embarking on their journey.

If they are unsure if they meet these criteria, our Clocktower Cars advises that they should travel by alternative means.

Mileage Reimbursement

Reimbursement of mileage costs in respect of use of private vehicles for Clocktower business, if agreed in advance with your line manager, can be claimed in line with the Trust/Authorities’ Travel & Expense Policy.

Colleagues should note that any fines, penalties or parking violations incurred whilst driving on Clocktower/Trust/Authorities business must be paid by the driver who has incurred them, reimbursement will NOT be made by the Clocktower/Trust/Authorities.

 

 

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