Stop. Look. Wave! Help­ing raise chil­dren’s aware­ness of traf­fic safety

A lo­cal fleet owner is gain­ing an op­er­a­tional div­i­dend on top of do­ing the right thing in join­ing a global safety cam­paign aimed at help­ing raise chil­dren’s aware­ness of traf­fic safety. Ruza Zivku­sic-Af­tasi writes

Deals on Wheels - - Contents -

Fleet owner Toxfree has found that sign­ing up to a cam­paign aimed at sav­ing the lives of the most vul­ner­a­ble can re­in­force a com­pany safety mes­sage it sees as cru­cial to proper in­ter­nal op­er­a­tions.

The waste man­age­ment firm teamed up with so­cially con­scious truck maker Volvo ear­lier this year to sup­port its ‘Stop, Look Wave’ safety cam­paign that high­lights aware­ness of chil­dren and chil­dren’s aware­ness around trucks.

With thou­sands of waste and re­cy­cling trucks on the streets ev­ery day, 717 Toxfree driv­ers will now be ed­u­cated to wave back to kids, Toxfree group mar­ket­ing man­ager Joanne Buck­ing­ham says.

“This cam­paign will as­sist our driv­ers to em­brace a stronger safety cul­ture and give a pos­i­tive mes­sage back to the chil­dren,” Buck­ing­ham says.

“One of our core val­ues is safety. Ob­vi­ously we have 500 fleet on the road around the coun­try, so we value all of our driv­ers’ safety and think that an ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram like this with young chil­dren is a great op­por­tu­nity to ed­u­cate the chil­dren plus our driv­ers on the pro­gram.

“Our driv­ers are very pos­i­tive about it, they think it’s a fan­tas­tic idea – as most have young chil­dren too – so they see the added ben­e­fit as well.”

Tool­box meet­ings are now held across Toxfree in­form­ing driv­ers about the cam­paign, with stick­ers also placed in­side trucks to re­mind them of the safety mes­sages.

“We want to en­force just how im­por­tant it is to be safe at all times,” Buck­ing­ham says. “We are ac­tu­ally very lucky with re­gards to safety records and we want to keep it that way; that’s an­other rea­son why we wanted to be part of this cam­paign just to re­in­force how im­por­tant it is to be safe on the roads so that we can con­tinue to be safe and not take it for granted.”

Toxfree’s safety val­ues match Volvo Trucks’, so it is fit­ting that the na­tional waste car­rier came on board, Volvo Trucks Aus­tralia vice pres­i­dent Mitch Pe­den says.

“We have a num­ber of other op­er­a­tors now putting their hand up for more in­for­ma­tion on it be­cause of them, and we’re see­ing how we can work hand in hand with them and our deal­ers to as­sist them to ap­proach lo­cal schools,” he says.

Pe­den is call­ing on man­u­fac­tur­ers and op­er­a­tors to be proac­tive, say­ing Volvo Trucks is happy to share its in­fra­struc­ture and train­ing pro­grams with those in­volved in the cam­paign.

“We’re also reach­ing out to our busi­ness part­ners, the trans­port op­er­a­tors who pur­chase and use our trucks to as­sist them to work with their lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties if they choose to, to be proac­tive in this space,” he says.

“Volvo has recog­nised all around the world that pop­u­la­tion is grow­ing and the freight task is grow­ing, and it’s the same chal­lenge we have here in our lo­cal mar­ket in Aus­tralia and New Zealand.

“Volvo un­der­stands that, be­ing a truck man­u­fac­turer and pro­ducer of trucks, we need

It’s dis­tractibil­ity that’s a par­tic­u­lar dan­ger for chil­dren.

to con­sider the im­pact we have on the so­ci­ety in gen­eral, and ob­vi­ously if we’re go­ing to be part of the chal­lenge of be­ing a truck man­u­fac­turer and putting trucks on the road, we also want to be part of the so­lu­tion around the safety space,” he adds.

“There is no bet­ter way for us than to come for­ward and tackle the chal­lenge of chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion and of those who are most vul­ner­a­ble and pre­cious pedes­tri­ans – those who have the least un­der­stand­ing of what heavy trucks are and that need to be cau­tious around them.”

CRU­CIAL MES­SAGE

Safety is paramount to Volvo Trucks. Present in more than140 coun­tries, the Swedish maker of heavy ve­hi­cles claim 260,000 chil­dren are ex­pected to be killed on the world’s roads this year, with an­other 10 mil­lion in­jured.

With the Aus­tralian freight task set to dou­ble by 2030, Volvo Trucks is do­ing its bit by tar­get­ing school chil­dren and ed­u­cat­ing them about truck safety.

The cam­paign, which so far has been launched in Swe­den, Korea, the UK and Aus­tralia, is specif­i­cally tar­get­ing school kids aged six to 10, where they are en­cour­aged to wave at truck­ies to let them know they have seen them, and in re­turn, driv­ers are asked to wave back so the child knows for sure they have gained the driver’s at­ten­tion.

Launched at the Melbourne Truck Show, the Aus­tralian leg of the cam­paign has al­ready at­tracted the in­ter­est of ma­jor trans­port play­ers, with waste man­age­ment and in­dus­trial ser­vices op­er­a­tor Toxfree be­com­ing a sup­porter.

1. Toxfree’s trucks will be vis­it­ing schools across Aus­tralia to give stu­dents a look at the view from be­hind the steer­ing wheel. 2. The ‘Stop, Look, Wave’ cam­paign was launched in May. 1

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