SAFETY num­ber one

Deals on Wheels - - Operator Profile -

Volvo Trucks has been fo­cus­ing on safety since its hum­ble be­gin­nings in 1927. With an ul­ti­mate goal of zero ac­ci­dents with its prod­ucts, the com­pany is con­tin­u­ously de­vel­op­ing sys­tems to make that hap­pen.

Its cam­paign is a guide for trans­port com­pa­nies and schools, which in­cludes an in­ter­ac­tive 30-minute slideshow star­ring an an­i­mated truck driver named Tim, who also warns about blind spots and trailer sweep on cor­ners.

The slideshow is ac­com­pa­nied by an in­ter­ac­tive story told by the fa­cil­i­ta­tor, specif­i­cally de­signed to grab the at­ten­tion of school chil­dren.

It also dou­bles as a good gen­eral in­tro­duc­tion to trucks for kids, and can be pre­sented by truck­ing com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the pres­ence of class teacher or par­ents. A truck is also used on site to help demon­strate the mes­sage. Volvo Trucks has been teach­ing school kids about traf­fic safety since 2004.

With their at­ten­tion span lim­ited, many kids have no fear of larger ve­hi­cles and over­all traf­fic, Volvo’s global head of safety Carl-Jo­han Almqvist says.

“Noth­ing is re­ally strange about chil­dren be­ing vul­ner­a­ble in traf­fic. It’s a com­plex en­vi­ron­ment with a lot of dis­trac­tions. But chil­dren don’t nec­es­sar­ily see the sit­u­a­tion as dan­ger­ous; very few chil­dren are afraid of traf­fic,” Almqvist notes. “We don’t want them to be afraid of road traf­fic, but the at­ten­tion of a child is very lim­ited.

“They need re­spon­si­ble grown-ups around them to tell them how to be­have safely, that’s what we can do some­thing about.

“What chil­dren need is an easy way to re­mem­ber how to guard them­selves in traf­fic; we want them to un­der­stand that cars, buses, trucks are big and fast and that some­times they do un­ex­pected things.

“This is the most im­por­tant thing in the world pro­tect­ing the lives of our chil­dren. It’s all very sim­ple con­sid­er­ing what it comes down to; just stop, look and wave.”

Above: Volvo’s global head of safety Carl-Jo­han Almqvist ad­dresses Glen Iris Pri­mary School kids

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