Safety & Accident

Report Says New Orleans Needs to Improve Driver Safety to Reduce Accident Costs

October 29, 2012

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans’ inspector general released a report evaluating the City’s motor vehicle self-insurance program and other aspects of its vehicle use policy. The report noted a number of areas where the City could improve. To start, the report stated the City doesn’t provide training for employees who must drive City-owned vehicles. Next, the City did not adequately monitor employee’s official driving records or on-the-job driving safety records, and it didn’t set standards for denying employees driving privileges, according to the report.

The key recommendations in the report state the City should handle claims administration in-house or negotiate a contract at a reduced cost and improve contracting practices (or example to not permit contractors to continue work under the terms of an expired contract and to not permit them to start work before the City’s mayor has signed a contract).

Next, the report recommends the City should adopt a vehicle use policy modeled after the State of Louisiana’s Driver Safety Program in order to define clear standards for driver privileges and provide for annual review of drivers’ records. The report added that the City should improve oversight of personal insurance requirements for take-home vehicles, and maintain reserves for the City’s fleet self-insurance program.

The City operates approximately 1,900 vehicles, with the largest fleets assigned to the City’s police department (60%), fire department (6%), parks and parkways (5%), emergency medical services (4%), and public works (4%). New Orleans self-insures its fleet. The City averaged $859,000 per year in liabilities, $570,000 in damages, and $242,000 in administrative costs, and collected on average $195,000 from at-fault parties, according to the report.

You can read the full report here.

This report follows one from earlier this year on the City's fleet operations.

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