The Courier Code
What is the Courier Code?
- A code of practice originally approved by the dept. for transport in the interests of road safety for firms in the courier industry and those who ride and drive for them.
- The Department for Transport recognised and supported this Code, but no longer publish it on their website.
- The Code was aimed at maintaining the highest standards of road safety at all times and at reducing accidents on the road to a minimum.
- It coverered all forms of transport used in the industry and those who ride or drive them.
- It recognises that those who ride or drive in the industry are mostly self-employed and all depend for their livelihood on being highly skilled and responsible professionals experienced in roadcraft and accident avoidance.
- It acknowledges that such professionalism requires the highest consideration for other users of the public highways and to the public in general.
- The following is a slightly shortened version of the (outdated) original - Alpha Couriers think it's a worthwhile code to adhere to
Responsibilities of courier firms
Firms in the courier industry should ensure that:
- riders and drivers they engage and employ conform to the requirements set out in this code; in particular that riders or drivers and their vehicles are properly licensed, insured and roadworthy
- realistic delivery schedules are set so that the courier is not required to break the law
- deliveries should not involve dangerous loads
- they provide clothing and equipment for employee riders and drivers which clearly identify the name of the company
- equipment provided or used is appropriate for its purpose and is not a hazard to safety
- they do not require employees to use mobile phones while riding/driving.
Responsibilities of riders and drivers
Driving and Vehicle Licences and Insurance
- To meet the standard of professionalism required, motorcyclists and vehicle drivers need to have the appropriate full driving licence; a current excise licence with MOT Test Certificate, if necessary, for their vehicle, and be properly insured for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act, including cover for the use of vehicle for courier use.
- At all times motorcyclists and drivers must obey Road Traffic Law. They must not ride or drive their vehicles in any way that puts themselves, other road users or pedestrians at risk. Neither should they park their vehicle in any way which causes a danger to other road users or pedestrians.
- The law requires the wearing of Seat belts in cars, vans and larger goods vehicles, with few exceptions.
- It is important to be fit and alert when riding or driving.
- Riders and drivers must not operate their vehicles whilst under the influence of drink or drugs. They should never use a hand held phone when riding or driving.
- Couriers should not drive when tired. A minimum break of at least 15 minutes after every 2 hours of driving is recommended. A maximum of 10 hours riding or driving per day should not be exceeded.
- It is best not to use hands-free mobile phones or other communication devices while driving/riding. Messaging services can be used. When communication is necessary, end it quickly.
- Motorcyclists and cyclists should wear proper protective clothing with reflective and/or fluorescent material. Motorcyclists must wear helmets.
- Vehicles and machines should be kept clean and roadworthy.
- Riders and drivers engaged or employed in the industry need to be competent, knowledgeable and have riding/driving experience.
- The qualities of professionalism required means that riders and drivers must meet high standards of appearance and behaviour.
- The courier is the ambassador of the dispatch company, whether on the road or meeting a client. The companys professional image is reflected by the professional conduct of the rider or driver.
- The full code was originally published a while back but can be viewed here (link coming soon)