Becoming fleet safety certified is an important part of any effective logistics and transportation program. 

Fleet Safety Certification provides an objective standard for assessing a fleet’s operational capabilities and confirms commitment to providing safe, reliable transport services. 

In part one of this blog post, we’ll cover what exactly fleet safety certification is, the benefits of becoming fleet safety certified, and offer insights on how to become Fleet Safety Certified in order to propel your own fleet safety program.

Overview of Fleet Safety Certification Process

fleet safety compliance

A fleet safety certification is an accreditation granted to organizations for adhering to and practicing safety standards. It proves that an organization has taken proactive measures to promote safety, mitigate risks, and protect the well-being of drivers, passengers, and the public.

To obtain the certification, fleet managers or owners must complete online or in-person courses. These courses cover a range of topics, including:

  • Practicing safe or defensive driving
  • Minimizing accident liability and insurance premiums
  • Using fleet safety technology
  • Reducing motor vehicle accidents
  • Boosting fleet efficiency

These courses enable managers and owners to effectively guide drivers in becoming safe and responsible individuals behind the wheel.

Understanding Fleet Safety Standards

Fleet safety standards ensure that vehicles are operated safely to mitigate risks and assure the safety of drivers, other road users, and the general public. 

These standards are implemented to ensure that vehicles are in good condition and meet specific requirements to guarantee safe operation.

International Fleet Safety Standards

International Fleet Safety Standards refer to a set of guidelines and regulations established to promote safety and improve the operational practices of fleets, particularly in the transportation and logistics industry.

Some of these safety standards include the following:

  1. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards – The US government has established a set of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to ensure the safety of vehicles sold in the country. The FMVSS covers a variety of safety features and functions, including controls and displays, transmission shift position, and seat belt assemblies. 
  2. International Standards for Vehicle Manufacturing/Assembly – The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized seven international standards that pertain to the requirements of quality management systems for the design and development, production, assembly, and installation of automotive-related products. These standards include occupant protection, pedestrian protection, and electronic stability control.
  3. Fleet Safety Policies Together for Safer Roads, a nongovernmental organization, has introduced the Fleet Trucking Global Safety Standards Initiative. This initiative aims to create industry-wide standards for essential safety instruments and technologies, promoting safer roads for everyone. The identified instruments and technologies include telematics, automatic braking, airbags, side-curtain airbags, side-view mirrors, and seat belts.

Local Regulations and Compliance Requirements

fleet management safety

Fleet compliance can be daunting since it requires ensuring the safety of drivers and the public. Fleet managers and owners seeking fleet safety certification should know the regulations and required paperwork they need to file with the government.

  1. Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs)The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires all commercial vehicles to have a Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR). The inspector checks the vehicle for any problems and records them in the DVIR. They also use a checklist to find out if repairs are necessary or if everything is okay.
  2. Hours-of-Service (HOS) logs help trucking fleets follow the rules of the DOT. These rules tell drivers how many hours they can work and when they must take breaks. The logs make sure that drivers are safe and not tired while driving, which can help prevent accidents. Some companies use paper to keep track, but more are using electronic logging devices (ELDs) that connect with their system for tracking HOS. This makes it easier to keep accurate records of how long drivers have worked.
  3. Compliance, Safety, And Accountability Scores (CSA Scores) are metrics used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to measure how safe truck drivers and their vehicles are. The scores are based on things like violations, crashes, and inspections. The lower the score is, the better it is. If a company’s score is too high, they might have to do something to fix it or they may get an order saying they can’t work for a while.
  4. Pre-Employment Screenings are needed to make sure that truck drivers can do the job safely. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) makes sure this happens. The screening includes three parts: a medical exam, a drug test, and a background check. A doctor will look at their medical history, do an exam and check their eyesight.

Steps to Obtain Fleet Safety Certification

Fleet safety certification involves several steps to ensure you’re complying with rules and regulations:

Preparing for Certification

Start with the end in mind by familiarizing yourself with specific requirements from the certification body. This includes researching the standards, guidelines, and regulations applicable to your fleet. Doing this will help you lay a solid foundation for preparing your fleet for safety certification.

Select the training you want to attend, whether online or in person. Here are some popular safety certifications to consider:

Completing the Certification Process

Getting fleet safety certification can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, depending on the program you choose. The duration of your certification will be affected by how quickly you understand and work through the training materials. 

You may need to prove that you understand the material by taking tests or doing assessments. These tests will cover concepts, regulations, best practices, and procedures discussed in lectures or videos.

Maintaining Compliance Post-Certification

Adopt the following best practices to ensure ongoing compliance after certification:

  • Develop a comprehensive fleet safety policy that outlines your safety procedures and guidelines.
  • Regularly monitor Hours of Service (HOS) to ensure drivers adhere to the prescribed limits and maintain a low CSA score.
  • For reference, keep detailed records of vehicle inspection reports, including maintenance and repair records.
  • Stay updated with fleet safety standards and the safety rules and regulations specific to your state or region.
  • Install telematics and fleet management systems to streamline operations and enhance safety compliance.

Developing a Fleet Safety Program

Ensuring the safety of your fleet helps protect lives and your company’s reputation. By implementing clear and well-defined policies, managers can help maintain the integrity of their operations.

Establishing Safety Policies and Procedures

Here are steps to establish fleet safety policies and procedures:

  1. Assess legal and regulatory requirements – Before you make safety policies, you need to know the legal and regulatory requirements in your state. This means finding out what is needed for driver qualifications, vehicle maintenance, hours of service, and other related topics.
  2. Define safety objectives – Your goals should match what your organization cares about. Think about the risks and dangers connected to your fleet operations and decide what you want to achieve by having safety rules.
  3. Involve key stakeholders – Managers, supervisors, drivers, and safety professionals should be actively involved in planning. Ask for their insights and learn from their experiences to ensure your policies are practical, realistic, and aligned with the operational realities of your fleet.
  4. Define driver qualification standards – Before hiring, you need to make a list of things that drivers must have. It should include things like a license and qualifications. You also need to do background checks, check driving records and make sure drivers keep learning more about driving.
  5. Implement vehicle inspection and maintenance procedures – Check your vehicle regularly. Decide how often to inspect it and what parts need to be checked. Keep track of the inspections in writing so you have a record. Make sure any issues found are fixed quickly.
  6. Develop safe driving policies – Your policy should address speed limits, seat belt usage, distracted driving, and impaired driving. Communicate the consequences of violating these policies and establish disciplinary measures as appropriate.
  7. Communicate and train – Regular training sessions will help drivers become proactive guardians of road safety. Provide resources such as handbooks, videos, and online modules to support ongoing education and reinforcement of safety protocols.

Final Thoughts

By combining fleet safety certification with Netradyne’s telematics and fleet management systems, fleet companies can establish a comprehensive safety policy that provides valuable insights into road events and vehicle performance.

Check out part two to learn about fleet safety training and leveraging technology to enhance fleet safety.

Ready to enhance your fleet safety and compliance? Book a demo of the Driver•i AI Fleet Camera System.

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