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
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.”
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