Safe Driver Program

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Ontario Safety League safe driver pins and wallet cards are a definite asset when applying for a job. They speak for excellence on the driver’s behalf. Employers, supervisors, drivers and the League are striving together to maintain the high standards of the awards. In upholding the spirit of the awards, the position of the professional driver in our society as an efficient, responsible and public-spirited citizen is being held in high esteem.

Ontario Safety League’s lapel pin and wallet card are the trademark of the professional driver – one who is skilled in avoiding preventable traffic collisions. Fleet owners, operators and drivers know and respect the award because only expert drivers wear it.

The award program was initiated in 1933 to recognize commercial drivers who practice the principles of safe, courteous and defensive driving. It is an appropriate means of rewarding motor vehicle operators for the efforts in road safety. Thousands of professional drivers in Ontario now proudly wear the pin, which says, in effect, here is an expert driver.

Employers and supervisors are also proud to have their drivers wear the pin. A safe, defensive and courteous driver is a good ambassador for the company and can directly influence a company’s profitability.

Objectives

  1. Reduce vehicle collisions by encouraging fleet owners, supervisors and drivers to insist upon and practise defensive driving techniques.
  2. Raise the standard of professional driving by assisting member companies to recognize their collision free drivers.
  3. Provide management with a means of expressing its appreciation for outstanding performance through Ontario Safety League safe driver pins, wallet cards and certificates.

The Award

All safe driver pins, from 1 to 39 years, have the same design. They are silver with blue and red enameled portions. Having driven collision free for 40 years entitles a driver to a Master Driver pin. Each collision free year, the driver will receive a pin and a wallet card. The card shows the number of safe years that a driver has earned. A driver just entering the program will receive a new driver card. Wallet cards are signed by the President and General Manager of the Ontario Safety League.

In addition, the League will present a certificate to each driver completing 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and every year after 30 years of driving without a preventable collision.

Program Eligibility

  1. You must have a valid driver’s licence.
  2. You must be employed by a member company of the League’s Safe Driver Award Program.
  3. You must be employed as a driver, who regularly operates a motor vehicle, or whose livelihood must depend on the operation of a motor vehicle on the job.

Award Eligibility

You must have been employed by a member company as a driver for at least nine months to the end of the calendar year and have driven that year without a preventable collision.

Subsequent Awards

You must have been in the employ of a member company for a full calendar year. During the year, you must have driven at least nine months, collision free, to qualify for any pin subsequent to your first.

Transfers

Drivers who are transferred to jobs other than driving and those who have retired, resigned, or have been discharged prior to December 31 are not eligible for an award for that year. They did not complete the calendar year as drivers. However, drivers who move to another member company of the League’s Safe Driver Award Program, and continue to meet the criteria for a driver, will be entitled to Receive League awards.

Illness

If, for any reason beyond your control, you do not complete the calendar year as a driver, you may still qualify for an award. Provided you drove for at least nine months in the calendar year, without a preventable collision, and are still employed as a driver on December 31 of that year, you may qualify.

Proving Period

A driver must drive three successive years, collision free, to complete the proving period. A driver who has a preventable collision during that period is required to start again to qualify for the one year award.

After a driver has complete the three year proving period, you must complete a full calendar year of collision free driving before you are eligible for a further Safe Driving Award. A preventable collision in any one calendar year cancels the entitlement to an award in that year. But, after the three year proving period, you retain the last collision free year you’ve acquired.

Changing Employers

If you change employers during a calendar year, you may be given an award if:

  • each employer is a member of the League’s Safe Driver Award Program;
  • each employer certifies your qualification;
  • you are in the employ of a member company, as a driver, on December 31.

You will retain all League awards earned in previous employment, even though some time elapses between employment. The only circumstances that require reverting to a lesser award is failure to successfully complete the three year proving period.

Previous Safe Driving Awards

Drivers whose non-member company becomes a member company and drivers who join a member company will be permitted to transfer their driving records where there is proof of a past collision free driving record.

Preventable Collision

There are few vehicle collisions that can be classed as non-preventable. In most cases, there is something one or all of the drivers involved could have done to prevent the collision. The fact that a driver might be legally right and not charged by the police is immaterial. If there is an action the driver could have done to prevent the collision, it is a preventable collision. Drivers with a defensive attitude towards the driving task understand and accept this. Other drivers do not.

Appealing a Decision

When drivers believe they should not have been assessed with a preventable collision, they may present their case in writing to their supervisors requesting further consideration.

If a driver remains dissatisfied with a supervisor’s decision concerning the determination of a preventable collision, the driver can request the case be forwarded to the Ontario Safety League for an impartial third party review by its collision review committee. The driver’s name need not be sent to the League. After a review of all documentation provided by the member, the collision review committee will provide a written report. The report will specifically include an opinion as to whether the collision was preventable or non-preventable by the driver.

In most cases, both the company and the driver accept the League’s ruling. In any event, it is the highest level of review available to the driver. The member company has the final say in the matter.