All Red Dot chauffeurs obey a strict Sri Lanka Drivers’ Code which is outlined below. Display of this code in the vehicle is compulsory.
Passenger safety is the no.1 priority. This means:
- Driving responsibly and within speed limits at all times.
- Ensuring vehicle is regularly serviced with special attention to legality of tyres.
- Checking vehicle daily.
- Mandatory fitting of seat belts in all vehicles except safari jeeps
- Avoiding itineraries with excessive driving hours.
- Avoid honking as much as possible and should use light-horn; even if there is a delay of one or two minutes.
- No alcohol during working hours.
- Appropriate rest stops.
- Mobile phone calls occasionally need to be made and taken – but these should not be answered while vehicle in motion and should be strictly restricted to essential calls only.
- Drivers should carry a basic first aid kit and have basic first-aid knowledge.
Note (Sri Lanka only): Official drivers' quarters in a minority of hotels can be inadequate or non-existent. Our commitment to responsible travel means that, in these few cases, we make modest provision for drivers' quarters (US$15 per night). You will be advised of this at the time of booking. This upholds basic minimum standards for our valued team of drivers and treats your safety seriously.
Tips and Gifts:
We encourage our customers, whenever they wish, to offer drivers or chauffeur-guides tips or gifts for satisfactory services: a basic guideline is anywhere upwards of $15 per day. Tipping drivers is accepted practice and it is especially beneficial on long tours when drivers may be away from home for long periods. However, drivers must under no circumstances request a tip or gift for work undertaken on one of our itineraries.
Itineraries and Flexibility:
Our drivers should:
- Arrive at least 15 minutes before scheduled departure time (excepting extreme circumstances, such as major road accidents).
- Maintain good standards of appearance, appropriate to the journey and climate, including personal hygiene.
- Provide a mobile phone number (where possible).
- Discuss suitable starting times with passengers for each day’s itinerary and be responsive to the occasional need for last-minute changes.
- Respond flexibly to occasional requests for route changes or additional excursions, if these do not compromise safety and/or acceptable arrival times. (Note: These may incur an extra cost which the client should pay direct to the driver).
- Feel free to suggest interesting excursions, but always immediately respect the fact that "no" means precisely that.
Purchases and Commission
We, or any ground-agent company that we may use, neither seek nor obtain any commissions from any shop that we might recommend, or where our customers might shop. We strongly oppose the dishonest aspects of ‘commission culture’, which can lead travellers to receive bad advice. When we offer shopping fact-sheets, we do so purely as a helpful guide. We recognise, however, that drivers may earn commission from some purchases by tourists and accept that this has long been common practice. This arrangement, when it exists, should be clearly understood by all. Drivers should:
- Only recommend places that they truly believe are of good standard.
- Respond briefly and honestly if asked if they are receiving commission or if the outlet is owned by a relative or friend.
- Never suggest, under any circumstances, that any shop, factory or product is recommended by our company – we can give no guarantee.
- Always advise travellers that they are shopping at their own risk and that, if items have to be shipped, they are clear about any additional charges that might be imposed.
- Ensure, where possible, that travellers have necessary receipts and contact numbers in case of problems with their purchase.
Our drivers can assist further by:
- Acting as a go-between between clients and Red Dot Tours agents in the event of problems or complaints.
- Advising on minor problems.
- Assisting with hotel check-in (remaining for 10 minutes after check-in in case of problems) and check-outs.
- Advising us on newly-discovered hotels or changes to known hotels.
Relationship with Fellow Passengers:
Drivers and passengers should seek to develop a relationship appropriate to each individual.
- Passengers are obliged to advise Red Dot about driver concerns immediately under Complaints Procedure.
- Driver should offer general advice - when required.
- Drivers should respect passengers’ wish for quiet times when such a wish is clearly communicated.
- Drivers must respect passengers' concerns about driving speed if they express concern.
- All parties must recognise the right to mutual politeness and respect.
- In some parts of India, especially rural areas, drivers may not be fluent in English, but with patience a positive relationship can be achieved.
Our customer feedback pages tell just how highly our drivers are regarded. They can help make your holiday in Sri Lanka that extra bit special.