Pro drivers held to a higher standard

Photo credit: Eric E. Johnson on Flickr Sharing the road with trucks

Photo credit: Eric E. Johnson on Flickr Sharing the road with trucks

Simply put, professional drivers have to be more careful than other people on the road. Canada’s superior courts have established a higher standard of care for professional drivers.
Employers of those drivers are responsible for safety training and can be charged criminally under Canada’s Bill C-45 after a workplace tragedy if it’s not provided.

“An organization must take reasonable steps to prevent bodily harm to employees and/or any other persons arising from work conducted by the organization,” says Grant Aune, president and CEO of Advantage Fleet Services.

“One of the largest contributing factors in motor vehicle incidents is complacency.”

The art of driving

Grant explains why professional drivers need to view their service as an art – not an act.

“A large majority of people take driving for granted and it becomes second nature so we don’t give it the attention it needs. This is driving as an act; we just do it,” he says. “What we need to do as individuals is to concentrate on our driving and make conscious decisions as we drive. This means paying attention and focusing on the tasks at hand. In other words driving as an art.”

Grant developed the “Standard of Care” program for Advantage that’s been delivered across Canada – and will be offered in Nanaimo, BC on Saturday, October 3 at the 10th Annual Vancouver Island Safety Conference. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his career that includes 24 years as an RCMP officer specializing in commercial vehicle collision reconstruction. He also worked with the Insurance Corporation of BC in their Commercial Vehicle Loss Prevention Division.

Grant’s program calls on delegates to “recognize their criminal, civil, and corporate obligations, operate safely, understand driving myths about behaviour and attitude, and advance driver education,” reads an info sheet on the upcoming session.

Topics include:

* Importance of professionalism and attitude towards driving
* High-risk behaviours such as unsafe speed, non-use of seat belts, distraction
* Driving as an art – rather than as an act (using visual search patterns)
* Tire and road surface considerations
* Incident examples

The conference has grown from 40 members 10 years ago to more than 400 participants now. It’s also free for participants, thanks to industry sponsorships. All that’s required is a donation to the food bank. The conference steering committee is made up of representatives from labour, industry, the BC Forest Safety Council, and WorkSafeBC.

For more information see this registration form. Thanks to Grant for telling me what he has in store at the conference.

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