Everyone expects to have a safe workplace environment when we report to our jobs, regardless of the title and whether it’s a field job or office position. Driving City vehicles for official business is no different, whether an employee drives all day, every day or just once a month. Fleet is working on making Madison the safest fleet operation possible. There are many parts that go into any successful fleet safety program.
It’s quite possible that vehicles, including our city vehicles, will be driving themselves one day as the world moves towards an autonomous vehicle future. However, that complex transition is at minimum many years off, and we must operate the fleet safely until then for ourselves and for the public.
Accurate records of vehicle collisions, incidents, and near-miss events are important. We use them to analyze and understand vehicle and driver trends. This data can assist in reducing collisions and incidents in the future. Proper filing of forms will also speed up the settlement of claims or lawsuits arising from these events.
Another strategy used by leading fleets is GPS tracking devices on vehicles to analyze and improve driver behavior. Coaching drivers on their driving behavior helps reduce speeding, idling, and harsh driving. Studies show that reducing these behaviors increases safety, as well as fuel economy and lower maintenance costs. These costs add up in a fleet as large as Madison's. GPS has other benefits, too, such as showing City public works managers a live map of which streets have been plowed and which have not.
We also buy other types of vehicle safety technology besides GPS on behalf of using agencies. These include:
- Camera systems.
- Automatic emergency braking.
- Driver alert systems.
Studies show that these technologies, and others, can prevent accidents on the road. In the fast-changing fleet industry, new options are always cropping up. The challenge is to balance the budget while exploring new safety opportunities where possible.
Commercial Driver's License
Ensuring that operators follow the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) rules can also prevent injuries and save lives. The required pre-trip inspection, for example, makes sure that the vehicle is safe to use for the planned routes that day. The random substance testing program checks that our drivers are in good condition to operate heavy machinery throughout the year. Other rules, such as buckling up safety belts, apply to all drivers and this simple habit can prevent serious injury and fatality.
Fleet is working on many initiatives around the important and evolving area of vehicle safety. We will keep you updated about those developments on this page, and we hope you will continue to visit.