Occ health: Safe municipal driving

SAFE MUNICIPAL DRIVING

GENERAL
– Drivers in municipalities must keep log sheets of their travelling, indicating milage, travelling times, destiantions, odometer readings and reasons for travelling
– Rules of the road must be obeyed
– Travelling to and from home is not covered by COIDA
– Driving is covered by the National Road Traffic Act (Act 93 of 1996). It governs (a) registration and licencing of drivers and vehicles (b) road-worthyness (c) safety of roads (d) speed limits and traffic signs (e) duties of a driver when an accident is made (f) driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
– The following persons are disqualified from driving namely persons suffering form uncontrolled epilepsy, attacks of dizzyness (induced by conditions such as hypertension, mental illness so severe that they resort under the Mental Health Care Act (Act 157 of 2002), muscular incoordination, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, diminished visual acuity under the prescribed minumum levels, addiction to drugs or excessive use of alcohol
– The National Road Traffic Act stipulates that a person should not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol that are narcotic in nature. ordinary driver may not drive with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.05g/100ml or a breath alcohol level of more than 0.024mg/1000ml. Professional drivers may not drive with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.02g/100ml or a breath alcohol level of more than 9.01mg/1000ml. Drvers may not refuse to have their blood drawn or their breath tested but it is advisable for helath care workers to seek consent
– The testing of breath alcohol levels is generally not a function of Occupational health but is performed by Human Resources Department. The administrtion of organisational deviance in terms of alcohol usage at the workplace is a staff issue and not an occupational health issue per se

DRIVERS
– Must have public driver’s licence if they transport passangers
– Public Driver permits must be obtained if transporting more than 4 passangers.
– Must be registered to drive specialised municipal vehicles such as buses or Metro Police vehicles
– Succesful completion of advanced drivers’ course for specialised vehicles such as busses or Metro Police vehicles
– Must come in for yearly Medical Surveillance (MS) examinations
– Must only drive vehicles under direct instruction and recommendation by superiors
– May only be driving officialy if driving is stipulated in their job description as an inherent requirement of their job
– Knowledge is needed on pre-travel checking of the vehicle such as the checking of warning lights and tyre pressure
– Training should be given on packing of cargo for specialised cargo vehicles and the distribution of cargo on such vehicles
– Should at all times know the height, weight, length of their fully laden and unladen vehicle
– Must know the contact person to contact in case of a breakdown, accident or theft of the vehicle

NATIONAL ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATIONS
A1 Motorcycle 125 cc
B Tractor (old code 5), industrial equipment (forklift) old code 7 and specially adopted vehicles for the physically disabled (old code 12)
EB (old code 8) motor vehicle (including minibus, bus and goods vehicle of size less than 3500kg
EC1 (old code 10) Motor vehicle (including minibus, bus or goods vehcile) of size 3500 to 16000 kg
EC (old code 11,13,14) Motor vehicle (including minibus,bus or goods vehicle) of size more than 16000 kg

PROFESSIONAL DRIVER’S PERMIT (PrDP) is needed for
– Category D (“Dangerous hazardous goods”)
– Weight of more than 3500kg
– Vehicles must meet the requirements of SABS 1398 (petrol tankers) and SABS 1518 (dangerous goods vehicle)
– Category P (“passangers”)
– Busses
– Minibusses (>3500kg, >11 people)
– Motor vechiles used for conveyance of persons for reward
– Any motor vehicle conveying more than 11 people including driver

– Category G (“Goods conveynace”)
– Goods and breakdown vehicles

Specific fitness standards for vision
– Codes A1 -EB (old code 8 or less)
– Acuity more than 6/12 (20/40)
– If one eye is under standard (or blind) the better eye must be more than 6/9 (20/30)
– Peripheral vision: 70 degrees temporal (or 115 degrees frontal field if one eye is blind)

– Codes C1 – EC (code 10 or higher)
– Acuity more than 6/9 (20/30) for each eye
– Both eyes required
– Peripheral vision: 70 degrees temporal in each eye

VEHICLES
– Employees should use the correct vehicle for inherent requirements of the job
– The vehicles must be up to date with their services and in good working order
– Vehicles must be equipped with tracker
– Vehciles older than 3 years must have a Roadworthiness certificate
– Vehicles must be licensed annually

Routes
– Employees should preferably not drive during thunderstorms
– Employees should not drive into areas where there is current unrest
– Try and miss rush hour
– Avoid routes which are known to heavy taxi and other vehicle congestion
– Not drive at night if possible

Challenges is in evaluating night vision for drivers driving at night.