City of Suffolk Confidence Course assists city drivers

“We, as employees, do a lot of driving,” said City of Suffolk Risk Manager Donna Vogel. “Thousands of miles a day, that’s necessary to do all of the basic services we provide to the citizens.”

Like many VRSA members, Suffolk’s largest claims involve vehicular incidents.

Over the last five years, VRSA has averaged more than 2,000 vehicle claims each year, with ten percent attributed to backing accidents. Each year those claims cost the pool approximately $6.9 million.

The City of Suffolk has been taking steps to minimize these incidents, developing a Safe Driving Team for the city, and most recently, utilizing a Confidence Course driver training created by Captain Leon Ratliff with the Suffolk Fire Department.

The course provides an opportunity for city drivers to practice maneuvers in a safe environment. It includes an in-class, obstacle course, and open-road training.

“A lot of times they drive a lot of hours under extreme conditions,” said Ratliff. With the confidence course, Ratliff says the staff can relax.

“They are cones – but they know if they hit one when driving, it’s like hitting a vehicle – but the good thing about the cones is they are not going to damage the vehicle,” said Ratliff.

Learn more about the Confidence Course in the video above. For more information on this program or how your organization can work with VRSA Risk Services to review your operations and help reduce your losses, contact your VRSA safety representative.