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Published: 2013-03-25 00:00:00

Waikato fleet managers will tomorrow hear how smart technology choices can improve the safety of employees who drive.

About 70 people are expected to attend the third annual company fleet manager’s day at Karapiro, organised by the Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group. 

“Technology and the choices businesses make can provide employees with much greater safety when they’re on the road,” said Waikato Regional Council’s road safety coordinator, Monique Haines. 

“Five star cars, for example, provide improved safety features and sustainability, while GPS devices can be a valuable monitoring tool for businesses. 

“On the other hand, technology has increased the risk to motorists and at the conference we’ll also hear from Jade Beale, who was seriously injured in a crash caused by a woman who had been texting.” 

Mrs Haines said it’s the responsibility of every business whose employees drive as part of their job to identify, assess and control the risks associated with vehicle use.   

“Road crashes are the largest single cause of work-related deaths in New Zealand every year, with crash rates 30-40 per cent higher than other motorists. But there are steps businesses can take, no matter what size they are, to protect their employees.” 

  • Develop and implement a ‘Safe Driving’ policy.
  • Take an active role in encouraging your employees to drive safely.
  • Share driving where possible.
  • Keep all vehicles well maintained and service vehicles regularly.
  • Make informed vehicle selection choices – for safety and sustainability.
  • Promote and provide staff training in road and vehicle safety. 

“For this year’s attendees we’ve also put together a handbook, which gives fleet managers information, policy examples and handy links to improve employee safety,” Mrs Haines said. 

The popularity of the day has grown since it was first held in 2011, with the numbers in attendance more than double the first year. 

The Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group is led by Waikato Regional Council, working in conjunction with other regional safety stakeholders including the NZTA, NZ Police, ACC and councils. 

For more information about the group’s work visit www.reducetherisk.co.nz