We decided to share an incident captured on camera recently of a bus driver recklessly and illegally overtaking on the N1 near Beaufort West. We decided to raise this with our driver training experts from NOSA logistics.

Why do we find this?

Here we see that the driver may be rushing to reach his/her destination, putting both himself/herself, passengers and other road users in great danger and raising the question around the competence of his/her driving abilities.

Overtaking is one of the highest risk manoeuvres for both drivers and passengers because it puts the overtaking vehicle into the path of oncoming traffic, often at increased speeds. If there is a head-on collision, the speed of both vehicles combines to create a much more severe impact. The basic, common rule is: do not overtake unless you are sure you can complete the manoeuvre safely and without causing risk or inconvenience to another road users.

A competent driver should allow plenty of time for the journey, so they do not feel pressured to exceed speed limits or make risky overtaking decisions. If the driver is behind a slower moving vehicle, the first thing to consider before overtaking is: do I need to? There are several reasons why overtaking could be unnecessary on a freeway.

For example, if:

  • The vehicle in front is travelling at or near the speed limit
  • You will shortly be turning off the road you are on
  • The vehicle in front might shortly turn off the road (look for clues, such as junctions ahead)
  • Are there any on-coming vehicles and is there enough distance to move out, overtake and move back into my lane safely?
  • Gravel roads don’t have any markings to warn you when you can and can’t overtake. In addition, the condition of the road can worsen at any stage and the dust created adds to the overall risk of trying to overtake

What role should video materials, tracking technology and driver training play to prevent these hazards?

Video materials, tracking technology and driver training are extremely effective methods that can positively impact on dangerous overtaking or other related poor driving behaviours. Video material can be very insightful as well as creating real scare tactics through visually harsh realities.

Tracking devices can be fitted into fleeted owned vehicles, whereby driver behaviour of this sort can be monitored and corrected, and of course, driver training can be offered to all drivers before and during his/her employment with a company, minimising risks and maximising on driver performance.

On-going driver training drives the safety message home through reinforcement and highlights the importance of keeping the training culture active in a business whilst showing drivers that the business cares about their wellbeing and safety.

What should be the next steps taken by the employer when receiving such video footage?

The employer should discontinue the driver’s scheduled driving routes with immediate effect and reassess his/ her driver competence, with the advice from an accredited driver training specialist, who could then conduct necessary practical and theoretical training. A strict disciplinary process must support these actions as it makes no sense to continually conduct corrective action training. A well-disciplined fleet of drivers is a much safer fleet.

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