The job of a coach driver means more than just getting behind the wheel and taking to the road. Your passengers count on you to keep them safe and your operator will expect you to be fully aware of your vehicle’s condition to ensure maximum safety out of every trip. You have a legal and moral duty to carry out the correct walk-round checks in line with both your company’s requirements and the law.
The walk-round check ensures everything on your coach or bus is working, that there is no damage, safety equipment is present, that you have proper control over the vehicle and that it will not pose any harm to yourself, your passengers, other road users and pedestrians.
Walk-round checks not only help to ensure vehicle compliance and safety. By detecting and rectifying faults early, you are helping to reduce the likelihood of breakdowns and costly repairs.
By ensuring compliance you are also reducing the risk to yourself in the form of fixed penalty fines and penalty points on your licence. Your passengers will also be thankful for not waiting at the roadside if you do happen to be stopped by DVSA for an inspection.
RECORDS AND FORMS
Walk-round checks should be part of your daily routine. Your operator will likely have its own unique guidelines designed around the kind of operation it undertakes. There has been a recent trend towards paperless reporting, with electronic systems used on smartphones, tablets and hand-held computers to make the defect reporting system faster and more efficient for future reference.
However your company likes to do things, the basics remain the same. Defects, however minor, must be accurately recorded. This includes ‘nil defect’ checks. The penalties for major defects can be severe, while even the smallest defect can lead to disruption and, if not properly recorded, headaches for you, your passengers and the rest of your company.
We recommend keeping your own records of all checks carried out. The results of your check should be handed to a designated company official. It is your company’s responsibility to ensure that records are kept up-to-date and stored for the time periods necessary. As part of the walk-round check, you should ensure you have all relevant vehicle and personal documentation such as your digital tachograph card and driver CPC card.
For further information on walk-round checks visit www.dft.gov.uk/vosa
For more walk-round check leaflets visit www.cpt-uk.org
Why not print the checklist and use it to check your vehicle condition?