For any fleet-operating company, the easier management of the fleet relies heavily on its ability to limit the amount of traffic violations incurred by fleet drivers. While the immediate concern for the fleet is to limit the expenses incurred by traffic fines, there is the longer term implication of excessive fines producing legal issues and action against the fleet. Here are five steps for managing staff fines and negating all related, negative consequences.
Establish a fines policy
First and foremost a fleet should have a dedicated and permanent fines policy set up, to not only educate its drivers and general staff on the laws governing fines, but to serve as a code of conduct that the fleet adheres to so long as they have the privilege of driving a company car. Having dedicated staff (or even a department) who monitor and manage the accrual of fines within the fleet is a first step towards managing staff fines. If this seems too complex to implement, a professional fleet services company can be appointed to undertake fine management.
Educate employees about the consequences of staff fines
Training workshops, handbooks and regular yearly tests are trusted methods for educating staff about traffic fines and all the changes government regularly implements. Education is especially important with the implementation of Administrative Road Traffic Offences Act (AARTO), a confusing system to grasp. In a nutshell, AARTO brings a variety of changes to existing traffic laws, such as those found in the Criminal Procedures Act. Primarily it will be important for fleet drivers to be educated on the demerit points system, the consequences of which are dire for a company. Should a driver not pay their fines and they accrue few too many demerit points, they get their licence suspended and therefore can’t carry out their business duties. Making sure your employees understand this personal risk will benefit them and the fleet, making them potentially more cautious drivers.
Understand fine responsibility and transferrals
Before the formal implementation of AARTO occurs, companies are in fact responsible for traffic violations incurred by fleet drivers. In most instances the fleet (or owner of the vehicle) will simply pay the fine to avoid longer-term legal ramifications for unpaid fines. Also, it becomes quite administratively intense to redirect fines. But, Avis Fleet can manage staff fines with its Traffic Fine Management System product. If you have the following hassles, then TFMS is for you:
- The sheer volume of traffic fines is bogging you down
- You have to manage traffic fines across large geographies, which is overwhelming
- You find navigating the AARTO system challenging
- You yearn for a one-stop fleet management shop.
Implement disciplinary action for excessive staff fines
Disciplinary action for abuse of fleet vehicles (or the accrual of excessive fines) is set to become a far simpler process with the arrival of the AARTO system throughout the country. As a fleet driver/staff member reaches their demerit limit their licences are revoked, and therefore dismissal/suspension from the fleet, immediately solves the requirement of disciplinary action.
However, their dismissal is harmful to the fleet in the medium term as replacing (and therefore training of a new) driver incurs extra costs and takes up valuable operational time. Rather than waiting for a licence to reach its demerit limit, the fleet benefits greatly from managing the basic behaviour of a driver/staff member. This is a preventative measure and can be done so via Avis Fleet’s Telematics product. This product observes and rectifies bad driving behaviour.