National Transport Commission encourages collaboration to improve driver safety

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has released a new draft strategy which aims to encourage better road safety amongst Australian businesses.

The National Road Safety Partnership Program was released for public consultation last week (September 6) and claims that sharing knowledge about how to improve driver safety could be an important part of reducing fatalities and injuries on Australian roads.

"We believe there is a significant opportunity to facilitate knowledge sharing about how to improve road safety in the workplace and to provide recognition for those businesses that do the right thing," said NTC project director Dr Jeff Potter.

According to Dr Potter, work-related road crashes in Australia account for around half of all occupational fatalities in the country and around 15 per cent of national road deaths.

For that reason, encouraging road safety should be a priority of every responsible Australian fleet manager, and it's worth taking the time to regularly remind your drivers of safe and responsible behaviour while on the road.

Another good way for those who are responsible for a fleet of company vehicles to do their part and commit to improving road safety is by ensuring regular fleet maintenance is performed in order to keep vehicles in safe and reliable condition.

Fleet services can assist in this department by ensuring all necessary servicing and maintenance is performed to schedule and in the most cost effective way possible.

Not only is improving driver safety an important ethical obligation for fleet managers, it can also be financially beneficial in other ways as well.

According to the NTC draft report, as driver safety in a fleet is improved it can lead to reductions in baseline operating costs through such factors as decreased insurance premiums, fuel usage, fleet damage and injury-related staff absenteeism.

Businesses interested in reading the NTC draft report can do so by downloading the document from the submissions page of the NTC website.

The NTC will also be accepting comments on the strategy until October 18, and Australian businesses are being encouraged to share their thoughts and opinions.

"We'd like to hear from businesses of all sizes as to whether the proposed program framework would meet their needs and hear their ideas on how to encourage more organisations to implement road safety initiatives," said Dr Potter.