January 2009, Work Truck - Feature
Reducing Risk with Driver Assessment Programs
All new-hire candidates should be informed clearly that prior to employment, their MVRs will be reviewed before they are allowed to drive a company truck.
Once the MVR has been reviewed, the policy should outline steps that will be taken if the record reveals violations the company considers risk indicators. For example, a single moving violation in a driver’s record might call for probationary use of a company truck for a year with any subsequent violations resulting in suspension of privileges.
Similar actions can be taken for existing drivers. The assessment policy should call for an MVR review on every driver at least twice each year. For larger fleets, these semiannual checks can often reveal one or more drivers who do not have a valid license, such as a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Few things carry more risk than operating a vehicle with an invalid license. The driver should be immediately removed from behind the wheel of the company truck and prevented from conducting any company business that requires driving.
Many companies assign points to various violations. Accumulation of points triggers company-instituted actions. However it is done, the safety of the driver and the general public, and the company’s reputation in the community are foremost in importance, with the costs associated with such risk an additional consideration.
As previously described, MVR reviews can reveal other risks. Drivers who are prone to or do not follow up on equipment violations can apply such inattention and sloppiness to their job and how they treat other company assets. Obviously, a driver who has been cited for DWI isn’t a good candidate for any job; overall contempt for the law isn’t a quality desired in a potential employee.