New global initiative aims to tackle work-place road safety and sustainability

News, Occupational Road Safety Management

Fleet operators around the world are being asked to join a new global initiative to help tackle the rising epidemic of road deaths, injuries and environmental damage. Launched this month by Brake, the road safety charity, Global Fleet Champions is a not-for-profit campaign to prevent crashes and pollution caused by vehicles used for work purposes. 

The latest World Health Organization report on the global status of road safety revealed that road crashes are the leading killer of children and young adults (aged 5-29 years) globally. The report also found that the total number of deaths from road crashes rose to 1.35 million in 2016, up from 1.25 million in 2013. Road crashes are now the eighth leading cause of death globally, surpassing HIV/AIDS and TB. Many road deaths involve a vehicle being driven for work, and vehicles driven for work also cause extensive pollution.

Global Fleet Champions is free to join and calls on all organisations that employ people who drive for work to prioritise safety and sustainability of movement, through good leadership and by adopting robust policies and procedures for driver behaviour, vehicle standards and journey routing. The campaign also calls on governments to regulate and enforce the safe, sustainable operation of vehicles that move goods and people, through licensing and traffic rules, road policing and tougher penalties.

The campaign is underpinned by five pillars that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Decade of Action for Road Safety and its ‘safe systems’ approach to road safety. The five pillars of Global Fleet Champions are driver behaviour; journey routing and modal choice; incident analysis and intervention; community outreach; and vehicle procurement and maintenance.

Organisations that join the campaign can build their capacity to manage road risk in each of these areas. All champions have access to a programme of free and low-cost events and a library of resources giving best practice guidance on key topics related to road safety and sustainability.

The Global Fleet Champions campaign is a partnership initiative administered by Brake, the road safety charity. and overseen by a standards committee comprising individuals with extensive experience in fleet safety management, either commercially as fleet operators or suppliers, or through academic or NGO work – including EASST Director Emma MacLennan and EASST Academy Course Instructors, Professor Lisa Dorn and Andy Price. 

Emma says:

Low and middle-income countries often have the poorest quality and most dangerous fleets – including public transport fleets, public service fleets and private commercial fleets. However where good fleet management is practised, it has been shown to have a strong impact on fleet safety, reducing the number and financial cost of collisions as well as the number of deaths and injuries. The Standards Committee will work to promote good fleet practice around the globe, including in countries currently facing some of the greatest challenges.

Also read Emma’s blog post ‘Good fleet safety management may help address the global shortage of truck drivers’ on the Global Fleet Champions website.