Mr. Davit Khutsishvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, underlined the importance of good fleet management for road safety, trade and development. Georgia will be taking steps to improve training in this important sector, including the creation of a new training centre for fleet drivers.

The Minister’s address launched a one-day seminar organised by the Georgian Land Transport Association in cooperation with the IRU Academy focussing on the future of fleet management and training. EASST and the IRU Academy are partnering with Cranfield University to improve the training of fleet managers, and both EASST Director Emma MacLennan and Dr Mark Sullman of Cranfield addressed participants.

Excellent examples of good practice in fleet management were provided by Mr Andrei Smolyar, Board Chairman of Intertransavto, a successful Belarussian logistics company, and Vladimir Mihnov of RAPID Transport Company, Ukraine. Their examples underlined the value of good fleet management in protecting drivers and ensuring staff commitment and retention.

Emma MacLennan spoke of the importance of training in fleet management and the contribution this can make to reducing road casualties in order to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals for road safety. Around 1 in 7 vehicles on the world’s roads are commercial vehicles while 1 in 3 road fatalities involve people driving for work. Proper fleet road safety management not only reduces casualties – it saves money and is good for business.

EASST’s partner, the Georgian Partnership for Road Safety, will be working with the IRU’s local Accredited Training Institute to promote training in road safety management. “This is vital for Georgia,” says Gela Kvashilava. “Road safety management is needed in both private and public fleets. This is a key area where we can help to save lives to achieve the goals of the Decade of Action.”