4. Managing risk factors on the road
The principal and/or their delegate must communicate the following information to employee/s who will be engaging in work-related driving.
4.1 Speed and traffic offences
Employees must drive within the legal speed limit at all times. Drivers should travel at speeds that are safe for the conditions, recognising that in some circumstances such as in rain or fog this may be below the posted speed limit. Consideration should also be given to the potential impact of a collision on road-users who are inherently vulnerable such as pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.
Employees must report any traffic offences, other than parking offences, they commit while driving government or school vehicles within one week of receiving the Traffic Infringement Notice or summons to their principal or their delegate and/or Shared Service Provider – Car Pool Services.
4.2 Drugs, alcohol and medications
Employees must not consume alcohol and/or drugs while engaging in work-related driving and must comply with drug and alcohol laws at all times.
Employees must take into account before driving, the influence of any medications they may be using that are likely to affect their alertness or driving performance. If in doubt, the employee should seek further clarification from their medical practitioner.
4.3 Use of mobile devices and other technologies
Employees must have a mobile phone when driving alone outside metropolitan areas. If using Bluetooth, ensure the device is connected and placed on a phone holder before you start driving.
Mounted devices, including inbuilt navigation and entertainment systems, can be briefly used to initiate, accept or reject audio calls, adjust volume levels, climate controls and use navigation functions.
Unmounted portable devices, including mobile phones, laptops, tablets or any other device, must not be touched while driving. Employees can use an unmounted device to make or receive phone calls while driving, only if it can be operated without touching any parts of the device (for example, using voice command or steering wheel buttons) and it is not resting on the driver’s body.
Wearable devices such as smart watches can be used to initiate, accept or reject audio calls, adjust volume levels and play audio material – but only if using voice controls.
Drivers must always pull over and stop the vehicle when reading or writing text messages, emails or viewing websites.
Staff using hands-free phone systems when driving should be aware that hands free systems also create hazards because they reduce concentration.
4.4 Avoiding distractions
Employees should minimise distractions while driving by:
- not eating or drinking while driving
- pre-setting music/radio and climate controls prior to commencing the trip
- ensuring any loose objects are safely stored in the boot of the vehicle
- pulling over to adjust equipment, check maps or attend to personal grooming
- asking passengers to help with tasks, for example, checking maps for the driver.
4.5 Mandatory wearing of seatbelts
According to the Victorian Road Safety Rules all employees must wear seatbelts at all times and ensure that any passengers are also wearing seatbelts.
4.6 Passenger head count
Drivers must conduct a passenger head count prior to departure to ensure the number of passengers do not exceed the maximum number allowed to safety be carried.
Drivers must not depart if the number of passengers exceeds the maximum number of passengers.
Reviewed 11 August 2023