Consolidated Services invests in training to encourage safer driving and yield cost savings

A Ford Transit, 15-passenger van designated for driving-safety training for Dallas County employees.

Consolidated Services invested in a Smith System driving-safety training program for County employees. Chris Hooper, department director, expects the plan to significantly impact the driving-safety culture among County-owned drivers. The department’s goal is to have trained 140 individuals by the end of the fiscal year.

“Our focus is serving our customers through education and training in effort to increase the number of safe drivers within Dallas County and the broader community,” Hooper said.

In coordination with the County Clerk’s office, the Consolidated Services department will offer 28 training sessions throughout the remainder of the fiscal year to County employees and leadership alike. The training entails three hours of classroom work and five hours of on-road driving.  

Dallas County employee (driver) Ernest Harrington and Smith System instructor (passenger) Brad McMullen. Following a driving exercise, McMullen provides feedback on observations made during Harrington’s drive times.

By the end of May 2020, Dallas County will have 90 trained drivers of County-owned vehicles, which will contribute to the reduction of preventable accidents, body shop repairs and premature vehicle maintenance. An increase in the number of trained drivers will also yield annual cost savings on vehicle body repairs. 

“We are pleased by the positive feedback we received from participants who completed the training thus far, and we continue to receive a high volume of participation requests from County employees,” Hooper said. In the future, Consolidated Services plans to designate two employees DriverTrainer instructors. This will allow Dallas County to offer County-owned vehicle operators driving-safety training and continuing education opportunities beyond the life of the County’s contract with training vendor Smith System.

A classroom in which students receive instruction at a Dallas County facility on Panoramic Circle. The one-day training entails three hours of classroom work and five hours of on-road driving.