Whitehorse City Council: Fleet Safety Review

Sharon Newnam, Carlyn Pauline Muir

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned ReportResearch


Whitehorse City Council (WCC) contracted Monash University Accident Research Centre to undertake a review of their policies and procedures that relate to the operation and management of vehicle fleets and relevant driver behaviour. This project was initiated in response to a review of WCC’s crashes and infringement notices, which identified a significant increase in the number of crashes involving the vehicle fleet along with a significant number of traffic infringement notices. The purpose of this report is to formulate recommendations to change policy and practice in order to create a safer driving culture at WCC.

The review considers current strengths and weaknesses at WCC in relation to risk management policies and procedures, human resource management practices and reporting practices for both safety outcomes (i.e., crashes, infringements) as well as management accountability. Each of these elements have been reviewed using: (i) an evidence-based framework informed through existing evidence on best practice in fleet safety management; (ii) interviews with WCC staff, including volunteers; (iii) document analysis of current workplace road safety policy and procedures; and (iv) a review of crash and infringement
data at WCC.

The report identifies a high level of maturity in the selection and procurement of vehicles, communication channels, and health promotion programs. Many of the recommendations made throughout this report leverage from these successful practices to support the maturity of workplace road safety in WCC.

Specific recommendations for improvement in the maturity of WCCs workplace road safety policies were identified. Opportunities were identified for senior-level management to enhance their commitment in workplace road safety through:
1. Better integration of workplace road safety into OHS initiatives including (i) policies and procedures (including role-behaviour expectancies) (ii) health promotion and (iii) communication channels.
2. The development and implementation of new safety initiatives. In particular, it was recommended that WCC focus on behaviour-based safer driver programs that target attitude and behaviour change. A recommendation also focuses on the development of a system-based crash investigation methods to identify the complex range of factors influencing crashing involvement.
3. Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of managers and coordinators in the safety management of drivers. Opportunities were identified for better integration of managers and coordinators across all units in workplace road safety activities including (i) induction programs, (ii) incident reporting and investigation, (iii) performance appraisals, and (iv) meetings. Strong support of relevance and impact was identified for existing practices in OHS and their associated communication methods; thus, there is potential for leaders to include a workplace road safety agenda into their existing practices.
The goal of the recommendations is to inform the review and revision of controls for managing workplace road safety at WCC. In particular, these recommendations have the potential to reinforce the standards expected of drivers in WCC. These standards are particularly important given the high percentage of the workforce that is either part-time or casual. Without the commitment and support from leadership in WCC, changes in safe
driving behaviour are unlikely to be achieved. The literature review identifies that
management commitment is a critical factor in supporting safe driving practices; thus, it is only after the successful implementation of leadership practices to support workplace road safety that (i) abhorrent driver behaviour can be managed effectively (ii) learnings can be had from incidents involving vehicles in the workplace and (iii) the culture of safety can be optimised.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationClayton Victoria Australia
Commissioning bodyWhitehorse City Council
Number of pages63
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018


  • Fleet safety
  • Road safety

Cite this