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Drivers’ competence to drive safely should be assessed at interview and/or prior to the allocation of driving tasks. Assessment should take account of the driver’s attitude, road safety knowledge and driving skills at the wheel as well other evidence such as age, experience, accident and enforcement history, including penalty points status and past training record. The following can be used as assessment checklist[5]:

1.

       General

  General

  • Years of driving experience.
  • Health issues or regular use of medicines which could affect driving.
  • Conduct a simple eyesight test by having the driver read a license plate number from a distance of 20 meters. When in doubt consult a medical person for a proper eyesight test.
  • Assess knowledge on local driving laws (i.e., maximum speeds in certain location, meaning of particular traffic signal).
  • Ask about previous experience with the type of test vehicle.
  • Familiarity with 4WD controls.
  • Knowledge on basic vehicle service.
  • Good practices to load a vehicle, specifically heavy or hazardous goods.
  • How to react in case of an accident.
  • Use of the Logbook.

2.

      

 Vehicle & driving test

a)

     

  Vehicle check: Assess knowledge on what should be checked before starting the engine, why this should be checked and what should be done when faults are detected. Checks may include engine fluids; tires; spare wheel, jack and tools; looking for stains under the vehicle.

 

b)

      Before starting the engine

 Before Starting Engine:

  • Adjusts the seating and mirrors (yes/no)
  • Ensures that seatbelts are fastened (yes/no)
  • Is the vehicle out of gear, the clutch lever up and the handbrake on?
  • Checks the instrument panel, lights and indicators (yes/no)
  • Assess the knowledge on the meaning of the instrument panel lights

c)

      

 After Starting Engine:

  • Listens for abnormal noise (yes/no)
  • Checks the instrument panel, e.g. oil pressure light (yes/no)

d)

     

 Before Driving

off

:

  • Uses of mirrors and indicators (yes/no)
  • Shows consideration for other traffic (yes/no)
  • Drives off smoothly (yes/no)

e)

      Driving and vehicle control

 While Driving:

  • Respects the traffic rules and road signs (yes/no)
Manoeuvres
  • Maneuvers and control the vehicle correctly (yes/no)
  • Uses mirrors and indicators (yes/no)
  • Uses gears and controls correctly (yes/no)
  • Maintains the right speed considering road condition, load and other traffic (yes/no)
  • Drives defensive (i.e., leaving space between vehicles) (yes/no)
  • Anticipates hazards (yes/no)
  • Shows consideration for other traffic and passengers (yes/no)
  • Shows consideration for the vehicle (i.e., no hard breaking) (yes/no)

f)

       

 Check on

particular manoeuvres

particular maneuvers

  • Emergency stop (Good/Correct/Bad)
  • Hill start (Good/Correct/Bad)
  • Reversing (Good/Correct/Bad)
  • Urban driving (Good/Correct/Bad)
  • Lane changing; overtaking (Good/Correct/Bad)
  • Off-road driving (Good/Correct/Bad)
  • 4W driving (Good/Correct/Bad)

3.

      

 Security

awareness

Awareness

  • Assess knowledge on main driving hazards in the area and measures to mitigate it
  • Handling main present hazards (i.e., checkpoints, car-jacking, crashes, etc.)
Behaviour
  • Behavior during the assessment (i.e., confident, calm, ability to communicate)

4.

      

 Use of

equipment

Equipment and

tools

Tools

  • High-jack
  • Vehicle recovery tools
  • Comms equipment (radio, sat-phone, etc.)
  • Uses equipment while driving (yes/no)

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Non-

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Professional Drivers (Staff)

In some circumstances, relying in professional drivers will be unnecessary and other staff will take the responsibility of driving themselves. This may happen when enrolling a driver is not cost-efficient but still there is a need of managing an owned fleet, including when reliable taxi services are not available, specific security risks require it, and more.

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 Whether the vehicles being used are owned, hired or are managed by a third-party, it is important to ensure that all local laws are adhered to. There are different norms that are commonly applicable:

Registration

The use and ownership of motor vehicles are strongly regulated by most countries. All vehicles must be officially allocated to a physical person or organization who will be liable for any duties or responsibilities linked to the vehicle. It is therefore important to go through the required registration process when acquiring a new vehicle or when decommissioning an old one.

Circulation Permit

Depending on the local regulation, it may be common that every motor vehicle to be used on the road pays an annual circulation licence Fee. The fee is normally proportional to the gross weight or the engine power of the vehicle, but can be specific to its purpose and type of loads such as oversized or hazardous goods.

Insurance

Insurance is a legal requirement for motor vehicles which aims to provide financial coverage against physical damage or bodily injury resulting from traffic collisions and against liability that could also arise from incidents in a vehicle. Vehicle insurance may additionally cover theft, weather or natural disasters and damage sustained by colliding with stationary objects. Vehicles should be insured to at least the minimum required by the local law. Different organisations will have internal policies regarding the extent to which their own vehicles should be insured. This must be established according to the operational context and a risk assessment.

Technical

Vehicles may also require a technical clearance certifying that the vehicle is safe for circulation in public spaces. Technical clearance may include environmental considerations such as type of fuel used or levels of CO2 emitted by the exhaust. Technical inspections can be related to the type of vehicle and its purpose, certifying the maximum permissible passengers and weights in terms of gross vehicle weight, axle weight and payload.


Fitness to Drive and Medical Clearance[7]

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