Introduction to Driver Safety

Driving patrol vehicles can often be taken for granted. The security officer or supervisor who has been driving since they were sixteen will often believe that they have the skills necessary to drive a patrol vehicle and may be lured into a false sense of security, increasing liability for their employer as well as for themselves. Remember: when a security officer is driving a mobile patrol vehicle, golf cart or bicycle, he/she is using the property of someone else. A security officer should take personal ownership and responsibility for the confidence that has been invested in him/her by their employer.

Vehicle Safety

Patrol vehicles can vary in size, type, make and model. But for the purposes of this discussion, the main focus will be placed on motorized automobiles.

Prepare Yourself

Security officers must be prepared to drive a vehicle prior to arriving at the post where the vehicle is located. Post instructions will detail the route(s) that are to be patrolled, buildings that are to be inspected, and individuals that need to be contacted whenever a problem or issue arises. Post instructions need to be easy-to-read, clear and concise in their instructions, and up-to-date with current phone numbers for appropriate contacts.

Prior to beginning the patrol, a vehicle checklist should be completed by the officer arriving on duty. The checklist will usually require the following information:

  1. Beginning mileage of the patrol vehicle
  2. Current date and time
  3. Current weather conditions
  4. General condition of the vehicle exterior (dents, scratches, etc. should be noted)
  5. Fuel and oil levels
  6. Tire pressure and general tread condition
  7. Inspection of the spare tire and other emergency equipment

Once inside the vehicle, the driver should be certain all equipment functions as required. Such equipment includes: seatbelt, headlights, turn signals, horn, rear and side-view mirrors, radio and/or cell phone. In addition, the exterior of the vehicle should be relatively clean and the windshield clear of dirt and grime.