Dis­cussing road safety and trans­porta­tion tech­nolo­gies

PMV Middle East - - FRONT PAGE - By Thomas Edel­mann, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Road­safe­tyuae

July 2018: A hor­rific traf­fic ac­ci­dent on Mon­day morn­ing left three peo­ple dead and 44 in­jured when a bus and two ve­hi­cles col­lided. A dis­tracted mo­torist caused the ac­ci­dent. Speed­ing, sud­den de­vi­a­tion and not main­tain­ing enough dis­tance be­tween ve­hi­cles also played a role in the ac­ci­dent;

May 2017: Seven killed, 35 in­jured in hor­rific bus crash in Dubai af­ter a tyre burst;

May 2018: Three crushed to death in truck ac­ci­dent on Emi­rates Road. Mo­torists urged to be more care­ful on the road es­pe­cially on high­ways, ad­here to the traf­fic rules, buckle up and leave suf­fi­cient dis­tance be­tween ve­hi­cles.

These 3 ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing heavy com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles il­lus­trate why fur­ther work is needed to im­prove road safety for this seg­ment. It raises eye­brows when we see so much mis­be­hav­ior in the com­mer­cial seg­ment. The driv­ers and the com­pa­nies in­volved per­form trans­porta­tion as their day-to-day busi­ness and one would as­sume they know what they do. Most do, but many don’t. Ba­sic forms of reck­less driv­ing like dis­tracted driv­ing, tail­gat­ing, speed­ing, bul­ly­ing, and so on can be seen per­formed by pro­fes­sional driv­ers. Cou­ple this with poor ve­hi­cle and tyre con­di­tion, and you have a very dan­ger­ous cock­tail.

We are de­mand­ing more re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity from the com­mer­cial trans­porta­tion seg­ment, mean­ing trans­porters must re­flect on the sta­tus quo and take full own­er­ship of the sit­u­a­tion and show the will and ded­i­ca­tion to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.

We want to bring this to life via the op­por­tu­ni­ties the 4x E’s of road safety of­fer:

In the con­text of the ‘E’ stand­ing for Engi­neer­ing, fleet op­er­a­tors must make sure, safe ve­hi­cles are de­ployed, es­pe­cially with re­gards to the over­all tech­ni­cal con­di­tion and tyres, but also with re­gards to tech­nol­ogy and AI avail­able nowa­days, like telem­at­ics and fleet man­age­ment sys­tems to track and im­prove the be­hav­ior of driv­ers.

‘E’ for En­force­ment plays a vi­tal role, so does the proper le­gal frame­work and more work need to be done with re­gards to max­i­mum driv­ing hours to fight the omni-present topic of driver fa­tigue, but also pro­fes­sional driver cer­ti­fi­ca­tion & re-cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and driver pro­fil­ing.

‘E’ for Ed­u­ca­tion is im­por­tant for driv­ers but also for all in­volved stake­hold­ers! Es­pe­cially fleet op­er­a­tors must show the men­tioned re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity by pro­vid­ing proper train­ing on an on-go­ing ba­sis, cou­pled with proper poli­cies.

‘E’ for Emer­gency re­sponse plays a vi­tal role, in the con­text of the many run-in back-end col­li­sions in­volv­ing stalled heavy com­mer­cial vehi- cles which are stopped in sub-op­ti­mal lo­ca­tions, of­ten with very poor haz­ard mark­ing. Proper driver be­hav­ior in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions must be in­cluded in poli­cies and train­ing cur­ricu­lums.

Com­mer­cial driv­ers and their eco-sys­tem should fo­cus on the re­spon­si­bil­ity and ac­count­abil­ity of fleet op­er­a­tors of heavy, medium and light com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles as well as mo­tor­cy­cles. They should be the pos­i­tive role mod­els on our roads! Un­for­tu­nately, very of­ten we ex­pe­ri­ence the op­po­site, and this must change!

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