Hackney’s first-use checks guide free for all operators

Recognition of the importance of first-use checks has led Hackney Community Transport (HCT) to produce a pictorial pocket-sized guide to help drivers, which it is now offering to other operators completely free of charge..

“First-use checks are vital, and we recognise that English is not the first language of some of our drivers,” says Frank Villeneuve-Smith, HCT’s Communications Director and author of the 28-page guide. “Equally, some drivers don’t find a check list the easiest thing to comprehend.

“So we produced this booklet, written in plain English, to give drivers a concrete understanding of what we require of a first-use check. It has been worth the effort; at HCT, we have seen a real improvement in the attention given to checks by drivers.”

The guide runs through all parts of a first-use check, with pictures clearly demonstrating what staff should look for.

HCT is happy to make the guide available to others, who may adapt it for their own use, although that is subject to some restrictions. HCT’s logo will be removed from the cover, and operators will be able to add a page about themselves at the rear.

They must sign a licensing agreement and commit to not making money from use of the booklet. More wholesale changes, says Mr Villeneuve-Smith, would be possible on a commercial arrangement with HCT.

“We came up with something to improve safety, and it worked. That’s why we want to share it with other operators,” he adds.