Thursday, April 18, 2013

What does a company consider overspeed?

Ok, I saw this today on a discussion board that I frequent.  A person was basically complaining why a driver was fired after going just a mere 3 miles over what was considered the overspeed limit.  They thought the policy was outrageous.

Let me explain a few facts of life to you oh unenlightened one....

First, since he was a lease(owner) operator, he signed this neat little thing called a 'contract' or 'lease agreement'.  In this LEGAL document, he agreed to follow the company rules etc.

One of those rules is that the truck WILL be governed at 68 mph.  That is part of said contract, no negotiation.  The next one is the fact that you will be given a 'overspeed' violation if you go over 71 mph for any length of time.

Now there are a few reasons for this.

First lets talk about it on purely a physics level.  As a driver, you have control, using the accelerator to control your speed up to the 68 mph mark.  In legal terms this means you have full control of the vehicle.  Now, if you let it 'coast' up beyond that point, you DO NOT have full control of the vehicle since you are not directly controlling the speed of the vehicle.  Now the company does give you a buffer, of 3 mph off of that governed speed before they give you a violation.  Heck, they could be asses and hand them out at 69 mph if they wanted to.

Now lets talk on the enforcement level.  If at any point it is determined that you were going over the governed speed of the truck (which these days is pretty damn easy to do with today's technology) you can be given various citations for not having FULL control of your vehicle at the time.  This in some states is basically considered reckless driving, a MAJOR violation.  You can lose your driving privileges over this.

On the insurance side (for the company) this is just nothing but bad news if you allow your drivers to coast like this.  If they get in any type of accident the insurance claims can be huge so it is looked at from an insurance and economical viewpoint.

I guess it boils down to this....

READ THE DAMN CONTRACT BEFORE YOU SIGN IT!!!!  If you don't agree with the conditions and they won't change them to something more agreeable, then don't sign it.  Once you sign it you are LEGALLY obligated to follow it or they reserve the right to cancel without notice. (which that is usually written in the contract, go figure)

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