Steve Vaughn

National Director of Field Operations at HELP Inc. providers of PrePass

Steve Vaughn is the National Director of Field Operations at HELP Inc., the provider of PrePass weigh station bypass service. Steve served 28 years with the California Highway Patrol before retiring as Chief of the Enforcement Services Division. In this role, he was responsible for statewide oversight for commercial vehicle regulation, inspection and enforcement in California.

In addition, Steve has served as Congressional Liaison with the U.S. Congress, president of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and has chaired or participated on several committees including the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, Intelligent Transportation Society of America, TRB Truck and Bus Safety Committee and the California Peace Officers Association. He also served as California’s public sector representative to the HELP Board of Directors from 2000-2008.

Prior to joining HELP in his current position, he served as President of SJV Consulting Inc., a firm specializing in transportation safety and security advisory services. 

Four ways to reinforce fleet safety

All it takes is one crash. One crash to increase your insurance premiums, lead to possible civil action against your company, or adversely affect your ISS score. And if you have multiple crashes, you could find yourself labeled as an unsafe carrier, placing your business at risk.

While it is difficult to avoid all crashes — since some are not the truck driver’s fault — there are many things you can avoid through a multi-pronged effort to maximize safety. Such an approach can go a long way toward ensuring your fleet operates in a safe manner.

Are you creating a culture of safety?

You definitely want your drivers to operate in a safe manner. You make safety a key element of your new driver orientation, and you talk about it in driver meetings. Your supervisors constantly mention it. Your dispatchers may even bring it up to drivers from time to time.

You “think” you operate a safe fleet, but do you know for sure? Simply put, if you want to improve your fleet’s safety you obviously need a good understanding of your current safety status.

Carriers and law enforcement working better together

In my previous IdeaXchange post I mentioned how drivers can interact with officers and inspectors to make inspections go as smoothly as possible.

Help your drivers ensure a smooth weigh station inspection process 1

Professional drivers encounter law enforcement personnel when they are pulled into a weigh station for weighing and inspections. The driver plays a large role in how pleasant — or unpleasant — that interaction will be. Setting a professional, respectful tone right from the start will go a long way toward making any inspection faster and less stressful.

How to use enforcement inspection data to improve your operation 1

Fleets have an abundance of data available today given all the sensors and telematics devices, which are either installed by OEMs or retrofitted on many of their vehicles. Accessing and using this information is critical to ensuring your fleet is operating legally, safely, and with optimal efficiently.

Why your trucks are getting inspected

While there are federal guidelines for what is included in a roadside inspection, there are no hard and fast federal rules determining which trucks will be inspected and which won’t. Although there are inspection data sources that indicate a carrier’s safety performance, ultimately the final decision for closer examination is at the discretion of the state and, more specifically, of the certified inspector or officer.

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