We are demanding more responsibility and accountability from the commercial transportation segment

Commercial drivers should be the positive role models on our roads

Thomas Edelmann, managing director, RoadSafetyUAE
Thomas Edelmann, managing director, RoadSafetyUAE

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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 vehicles 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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