Corporate heavyweights band together to reduce road toll

117Australia’s business sector will take a lead in improving road safety under a National Road Safety Partnership Program to be launched later this year.

Establishment of the program is being led by a steering committee comprised of senior representatives from a diverse range of organisations such as BHP Billiton, Coca-Cola Amatil, Rio Tinto, Telstra, Shell, Toll QX, Volkswagen, Wesfarmers Insurance, Zurich, Holden and Origin Energy.

The National Transport Commission (NTC) has also supported the development of the program, which is designed to assist businesses to share information about how to improve road safety in their workplace.

Acting Chief Executive, George Konstandakos said the NTC was proud to have played a part in the release of the National Road Safety Partnership Program Final Strategy today which underpins the establishment of the program, following public consultation on the draft strategy in the later part of 2012.

“This initiative is unique as it is industry driven and aims to promote the role of businesses in reducing the road toll,” said NTC Acting Chief Executive, George Konstandakos.

“Work-related road crashes account for almost half of all occupational fatalities in Australia1 and 15 percent of the national road toll2. As almost half of the new vehicles sold in Australia each year are purchased by businesses, there is an opportunity for them to have a significant impact on road safety.”

John Nagle, Chief Executive of Lumley Insurance, part of Wesfarmers Insurance, said that improving road safety in their workplace was good for the community and good for business.

“Business can not only make a positive contribution to the community by cutting the number of incidents staff and vehicles are involved in, but they can also improve productivity and reduce their costs from time lost to injury and compensation, ” said Mr Nagle.

Steering committee member Rod Baker (Road & Rail HSSE Manager, Shell Australia) said that Shell supported the program as it recognised the contribution businesses can make in reducing road deaths and injuries.

“People who carry out business for Shell globally travel about 3.6 million kilometres every day. That is about 100 times around the world each day, or 1.3 billion kilometres each year. Road transport is integral to the way Shell does business, so getting road safety right is a priority,” said Mr Baker.

“Road safety is a global issue and improvements are in everyone’s interests.”

The steering committee is currently working on the establishment of a website in conjunction with the NTC and UK Roadsafe, to provide an interactive repository for businesses of all sizes to share information about improving workplace road safety.

Members have also collaborated on the development of several case studies that illustrate   the safety, productivity and environmental gains achievable by businesses making changes to their safety culture.

The National Road Safety Partnership Program – Final Strategy is available on the NTC website: www.ntc.gov.au

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