Skip to Main Content
Auckland Transport

Safe driving at work

STA-HS17-SAF

  1. Background and purpose

Auckland Transport (AT) strives to continually improve its Health and Safety Management System and its main objective is to ensure all its employees go home safely. This Standard provides a practical approach to ensure employees keep themselves safe while driving vehicles for Auckland Transport business. It also sets out clear expectations of the behaviours we expect when driving for Auckland Transport business.

  1. Scope

This Standard applies to all AT employees, members of the public, visitors, and contractors who may be affected by AT’s activities or who undertake activities on behalf of AT. This procedure has been completed to align with Auckland Transport’s health and safety framework.

  1. Responsibilities

Chief Executive

  • Is accountable for the organisation’s compliance with AT’s Health and Safety management system including allocation of resources and accountabilities across the business to meet this Standard.

Divisional Managers

  • Are accountable for the appointment of staff to support the implementation and maintain driving at work policies, standards, and procedures for their areas of responsibility.

Line Managers

  • Regularly check employees’ driver licences to ensure validity (at least annually) and keeping suitable records;
  • Assess the risks of employees driving in adverse weather conditions;
  • Setting clear expectations around journey times, stress and fatigue management;
  • Checking that people are not under unreasonable time pressures when they are planning to drive;
  • Liaising with the Health and Safety Manager if any injury incident occurs.

Drivers

  • Driving safely and in compliance with the NZ Road Code (e.g. observing all signs, signals and speed limits);
  • Carrying out vehicle safety checks prior to driving any vehicle used for Auckland Transport business;
  • Reporting any vehicle damage, defects or collisions as soon as practicable;
  • Notifying Managers of any driver licence suspension or disqualification;
  • Notifying Managers if pulled over by the NZ Police when driving a Transport Agency vehicle;
  • Only driving vehicles that are:
    • fit for purpose (e.g. not damaged or defective),
    • compliant with legal requirements (e.g. current registration and Warrant of Fitness if applicable),
    • that the driver is legally allowed to drive (e.g. vehicle class);
  • Checking that all passengers are wearing their seatbelts before starting the journey;
  • For dedicated vehicles only – ensuring all maintenance is carried in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations and warranty requirements. Repairs to defects and damage must be carried out as soon as practicable.
  1. Standard

People who drive for Transport Agency business are responsible for ensuring their own driving competence, and that they are driving within their own capabilities in a way that is safe for them and other road users.

Authorised Drivers of Auckland Transport Vehicles and Personal Vehicles

Only employees and parties authorised in writing by Auckland Transport (AT) are permitted to drive or ride in AT vehicles for the purpose(s) authorised by AT.

If a driver uses a privately owned vehicle for the purpose of work, unless explicitly excluded, the same policy and guidance specified in this Standard will apply.

AT vehicles are not to be used for home-to-work transport or transporting relatives or friends unless specifically authorised in writing either as a condition of employment or by letter from AT management. In addition, users will need to comply with AT’s Fleet Vehicle Policy Section 7: Take Home Vehicles.

Personal use of an AT Vehicle is defined as:

  • Any use of the vehicle outside of the designated working day;
  • Any use of the vehicle for the purposes of transporting people or goods unrelated to AT operations no matter the time of the day;
  • Any use of the vehicle between home-to-work; or
  • Parking at a home location where the vehicle is unavailable for AT operational use.

Driver risk profiling

A person’s role, driving history and driving experience will strongly influence the level of risk when driving a vehicle. Auckland Transport considers people high risk if they fit any of the following criteria:

  • High annual kilometre driver - drive over 35,000 kilometres a year;
  • High use driver - regularly drive a vehicle on AT business more than 100 days in a year;
  • Young driver - under 25 years of age;
  • Inexperienced driver – held a full New Zealand driver licence for less than one year, including drivers who have recently converted an overseas licence to a NZ driver licence;
  • Holder of an overseas driver licence and does not hold a full NZ driver licence;
  • New AT employee - who has not yet carried out an AT driver assessment or training.

NOTE: Those who do not fit in any of the above high risk categories are regarded as a normal risk driver.

Checking of Information

We will ensure our employees meet the requirements of this Standard by:

  • Checking the validity of driver licences when recruiting and periodically afterwards. Managers must take a copy of team members’ driver licences (at least annually) and file it securely. It is only necessary to retain the most recent record- old records must be disposed of securely.
  • Requiring our employees to declare if they have:
  • their licence revoked or suspended; or
  • have been involved in a work related road traffic collision, or stopped by the          NZ Police while driving an AT vehicle.

Driver training requirements

To be approved to drive a Transport Agency vehicle our people must meet the following requirements:

Type of Driver

AA Driver Training

Specialist driver training

Hold a full NZ driving licence appropriate to the vehicle required to drive

High Annual Kilometre Driver

-

High Use Driver

-

Young Driver

-

Inexperienced driver

-

Holder of an overseas licence

- -

New Employee

within 6 months of starting*

-

Higher Risk Driver

Further monitoring of driving performance may be required as an agreed driver improvement plan with the relevant people leader.

-

Off Road

-

Winter Driving

-

-

Normal Risk Driver

-

-

*optional (but recommended) for those with a start date prior to 1 July 2015

Currently there are no requirements to carry out refresher training.

Alcohol, drugs and impairment

Our employees must not drive any vehicle for work purposes if they:

  • Have consumed any alcohol;
  • Taken drugs that may impair their ability to drive (including over the counter and prescription medication - appropriate medical advice must be sought before deciding to drive if there is any doubt about impairment);
  • Are excessively tired, fatigued or stressed to a point where driving performance may be affected.

All our employees must be familiar and comply with the requirements laid out in the Auckland Transport Drug and Alcohol Policy and Procedure.

Mobile telephones

Mobile telephones (including hands free devices) must not be used while driving for AT business. The only exception is when using a mobile telephone as an appropriately secured GPS unit. Drivers must be parked in a safe place with the engine switched off when using mobile telephones (this includes entering GPS coordinates).

Driving Speed

AT vehicle speed is monitored and recorded against drivers. Managers will manage any cases of speeding in a fair and reasonable way.

In the first case of speeding (except for serious speeding), Managers will hold a coaching conversation with the driver. This will allow the driver an opportunity to discuss why their speed was excessive and what appropriate actions could be taken to manage this in the future. This conversation will be recorded in the driver’s personnel file.

Serious speeding (e.g. more than 20 percent of the legal speed limit) may be considered serious misconduct under AT’s Code of Conduct. However, all relevant circumstances will be taken into account before such a decision is made. Managers should seek advice from the Human Resources Team before proceeding with any disciplinary investigation.

Further cases of speeding within a 12-month period may be regarded as misconduct under the AT’s Code of Conduct and an investigation may take place. Anyone identified to have driven more than 140kph will be suspended from work pending investigation.

The below table outlines what is considered to be serious speeding.

Legal speed limit

(Km/h)

Serious speeding at or above

(Km/h)

Percentage over the speed limit

Sustained period expressed as a distance

(metres)

50

60

20%

500

60

72

20%

500

70

84

20%

500

80

96

20%

500

90

108

20%

500

100

120

20%

500

Eyesight and general health requirements

We recommend that AT’s drivers have their eyes tested at least once every two years as part of our occupational health programme. Auckland Transport offers additional benefits through reimbursing eye tests and glasses.

  1. Safe journey

Realistic work schedules

Journey times should take into account road types and conditions and allow for rest breaks. Work schedules should be planned around the periods when drivers are more likely to be fatigued.

Sleep-related incidents are most likely to occur between the hours of 02:00-06:00 and 14:00-16:00. Vehicle telemetry will be used to monitor unsafe driving hours.

Shift workers are particularly at risk from fatigue related issues. Individuals are responsible for ensuring they take adequate rest between shifts. Managers who are responsible for shift workers must encourage good practice around taking suitable rest breaks. Where individuals are seen to be experiencing fatigue, Managers shall take action to prevent them from driving.

We do not expect AT employees to work more than 12 hours when driving as part of their day. This time includes the driver’s commute at the start or finish of the day (e.g. starting a journey from home).

Drivers who are required to work long or irregular hours must not drive home from work when they are excessively tired. In this case the driver should consider an alternative, such as an overnight stay at the AT’s expense.

We recommend that drivers:

  • Take a minimum of a 15-minute break at least every two hours;
  • Avoid periods of peak traffic flow for work journeys;
  • Allow enough time to achieve a safer journey.

Weather conditions

Journey times and routes should be adjusted to take account of adverse weather conditions such as snow or high winds.

Those people who are required to drive in certain adverse weather conditions must attend suitable training. Training can be requested through their Manager or the Health and Safety Manager.

If poor weather conditions are expected, vehicles must be properly equipped. Examples of equipment required are:

  • anti-lock brakes;
  • winter tyres;
  • winter strength windscreen washer fluids and radiator anti-freeze;
  • different engine oils for very cold temperatures;
  • snow chain;
  • emergency communication devices;
  • sleeping bags and spare warm clothing;
  • a shovel;
  • where weather conditions are exceptionally difficult cancel the journey.

Emergencies

All AT vehicles have:

  • First aid kit(s);
  • Safety Triangle(s).

In the event of a breakdown, the recovery contact telephone number can be found in the vehicle information pack.

Reporting of incidents

If you are involved in a collision or other incident:

If a person is injured:

  • Check that you and others are safe;
  • Stay as far away as possible from live traffic areas;
  • Get help and arrange for injuries to be treated;
  • Contact your Manager as soon as you can;
  • As soon as possible report the incident using the AT’s reporting system (Synergi Life).

If a vehicle is damaged:

  • Call the accident/breakdown service – 0800 438 435;
  • Fill in the AT motor vehicle accident report form (located in the vehicle information pack) and hand this in when you return the vehicle keys;
  • Take a photograph of the vehicle damage if possible.
  1. Safe vehicles

Vehicle maintenance

All AT vehicles have planned and preventive maintenance carried out in accordance with the relevant manufacturer’s recommendations.

Hire Vehicles

Hire vehicles must only be sourced from approved suppliers, and must be at or above the standards outlined in this document.

Privately owned vehicles

Privately owned vehicles must only be used for work purposes as a last resort. These vehicles must be serviced in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations, registered, and have a valid warrant of fitness (when required).

Auckland Transports vehicle insurance policy covers use of private vehicles when they are on approved work related journeys.

Safety checks

Before driving a vehicle for AT business, a safety check of the vehicle must be carried out. The TWIRL methodology is recommended. More information on this can be found on the Transport Agency website.

Drivers are encouraged to use AT’s Health and Safety Vehicle Check mobile application. This makes pre-use checks easy, provides a record that it has been done, and allows defects to be reported immediately to the Procurement Team who are responsible for maintaining our vehicles. This can be downloaded at no cost from the Apple, Google Play or Windows store.

NOTE: Defective or Damaged Vehicles must not, In any circumstances, be driven at any time.

  1. Safe use of a company vehicle guidance

7.1 Safe Drivers

Seating position and driving posture

Before driving, drivers are responsible for checking that their seat is correctly adjusted.

  • The seat should be set at a distance where the pedals can be fully depressed without over-reaching.
  • Knees should be bent at around 130 degrees when seated.
  • The height of seat should be set so you can see and read dials on the dashboard.
  • Both hands should reach the wheel with a slight bend in the arm.
  • Shorter drivers should not sit too close to the wheel as there is a risk of injury from the airbag should it be deployed.
  • The head rest should be level with top of the head or at least no lower than eye level so the back of the head is supported should a collision occur.
  • Seat belts must be worn correctly and height adjusted to prevent risk to the driver’s neck.
  • The car seat should have firm contact with the body and drivers should sit upright or slightly reclined so the back is fully against the seat.
  • Driving postures should be changed from time to time while driving to help reduce fatigue and discomfort.
  • Take regular breaks when driving - get out of the vehicle to stretch legs.
  • Before unloading any equipment after driving, stretch your back.

7.2 Safe Journeys

Route planning

Use safe routes that are appropriate for the type of vehicle you are driving. Check the weather forecast before your journey, and if there may be adverse weather conditions consider delaying or changing your journey if appropriate.

Tools you can use to help you do this include:

Eliminate the need for car journeys where possible.

Combine other ways of working or other forms of transport to eliminate or reduce long road journeys.

Consider these alternative options when planning your work:

  • Arrange meetings using conference calls or video conferencing so you don’t need to drive
  • Use public transport if available for the whole or part of your journey
  • If you have a long journey, use flights and taxis so you can avoid driving unless absolutely necessary.

Carrying and properly securing goods and equipment

Loose objects within a vehicle present significant risk to drivers and passengers when involved in a collision. All equipment and goods must be appropriately secured in the load carrying areas of vehicles. Loose heavy items must not be carried into the passenger compartment.

7.3 Safe Vehicles

Driver aids

Company vehicles are fitted with driver aids and other safety devices (e.g. reversing alarms, camera systems, proximity sensors, stability/control aids, ABS). If you have to drive to an unfamiliar location, you can ask for an appropriate GPS device (which can include a mobile phone with navigation application). Any GPS device must be appropriately mounted and hands free while the vehicle is moving.

Where vehicles are fitted with cruise control and/or speed warning systems, it is encouraged these are used to aid compliance with speed restrictions. Some vehicles will have adaptive cruise control, which enables safe distances from vehicles to be maintained automatically.

You should familiarise yourself with the vehicle’s driver aids before your journey. If you are unsure of how any of the aids work, please refer to the vehicle manual.

Fire extinguishers

While fire extinguishers are provided in all of our vehicles, employees are not expected to fight any fires. In the event of a fire, move to a safe place away from the vehicle and contact the emergency services immediately. Do not approach the vehicle under any circumstances.

Related policy