In partnership with the Automobile Club of Moldova, Shell, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), EASST has organised a Study Tour to the UK for a Moldovan delegation in order to build a deeper understanding of the practical application of occupational road safety policies. The visit is a continuation of EASST’s ‘Driving Business Safely’ campaign initiated in Moldova earlier this year, involving six members of the new Occupational Road Safety Working Party established in Moldova as a result of the campaign.

Visiting the depot

The ‘Driving Business Safely’ campaign was launched in February 2013 to tackle the high rate of work-related road injuries in Moldova. The two-day launch workshop held in the Moldovan capital Chisinau on 13-14 February brought together stakeholders concerned with the number of work-related road incidents in the country, specifically those involving public transport fleets and drivers. The event was supported by Minister for the Interior Dorin Recean, and brought Formula 1 driver and EASST Ambassador Alex Wurz and his team from Test & Training International, experts from the Kent ‘Get a Grip’ campaign along with the Freight Transport Association to Chisinau to share their approach to road safety management. A number of fatal public and commercial transport crashes have occurred in recent years in Moldova at huge cost – both human and economic. The issue has now become prominent on the political agenda in Moldova, where there is a new desire to find effective solutions.

With sponsorship from the EBRD and EASST, the Working Party established as a result of February’s event came to the UK to see at first hand the measures taken by leading UK-based companies to reduce road risk in their businesses and for the community as a whole. The two-day trip was hosted by Shell International, with the support of, GoAhead Buses, Transport for London and the Metropolitan Police.

Mike Watson of Shell introdcues their safe driving policies

The six members of the Moldovan delegation were all individuals in a strong position to promote good occupational road safety practice in Moldova:

Dan Chirita, Chief of the Unique Center of Video Monitoring; Service of Information Technologies, General Police Inspectorate of Moldova
Nicolae Seredneac, Director, Autorapid SRL, Chisinau Maxi Taxi company
Liuba Popa, Gas Natural Fenosa (natural gas retailer), Responsible for General Service and Transport
Lilian Copaci, Chief of the Transport Management Department, Chisinau Municipal Authority Transport Department

Gheorghe Morgoci, Director, RTEC ­ the Chisinau trolley bus company
Marcel Lupanciuc, Deputy Director Service Operations, Chisinau Bus Company

They were accompanied by representatives of EASST’s key partner, the Automobile Club of Moldova, who manage the Driving Business Safely campaign.

The Study Tour combined site visits and meetings with UK companies to view systems and procedures. On 25 November, the delegation were welcomed to Shell Business Centre by Linda Phillips, General Manager for Downstream Road Safety in Shell. They heard presentations from Andy McCarroll of Transport for London’s Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS – an accredition scheme encouraging good road safety management practice in London), and Colin Langford of GoAhead Buses. GoAhead generously provided a bus to take the Group to New Cross and Peckham Bus garage to inspect systems, and to the Surface Transport and Traffic Operations Centre in London. Chief Inspector John Salisbury-Jones of the Metropolitan Police described the partnership between London government, the police and transport services designed to promote safe transport in the city. Visitors heard too from Derran Crowson and Alan Dell of TfL about the regulation of taxi services and how the huge variety of transport modes are managed. During the evening, the Moldovan delegation were joined by Moldovan Deputy Minister for the Interior Serghei Diaconu and welcomed to the House of Lords by Lord Bowness, Secretary of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Moldova.

Taking a tour of GoAhead Buses

On 26 November, Shell’s Global Road Safety Manager Mike Watson provided the group with detailed information about Shell’s commitment to occupational road safety and the policies and practices adopted by Shell to prevent road deaths among its employees and within the communities in which they work. Andy Kemp of – a company leading exemplary road safety management practice in the UK, providing a model in particular for retail distribution fleets – explained Tesco’s introduction of safe driving practices during its development as on online retailer with an increasing vehicle fleet.

The delegation were then welcomed to Kent by Toby Howe of Kent Highways and Dean Benson of Amey to learn more about fleet management and vehicle inspection. The Group visited the depot in Aylesford, Kent, where they were shown how the company has achieved dramatic road crash reductions in practice – looking closely at their reporting and monitoring systems.

The group return to Moldova with a detailed knowledge of UK occupational road safety policies and best practice with a view to implementing changes within their workplaces in Moldova.