How to reduce road casualties in Africa and the Middle East
Safety management is not to be taken lightly in high-risk areas, explained Nikola Vuckovic, Manager EHSS & IFMS South East Europe region at Philip Morris International, at the 2018 Global Fleet Conference in Rome.
About one fifth of his company’s 25,000-vehicle strong fleet drive in the MEA region. Most of them are passenger cars, but LCVs and trucks each represent 10 percent.
“The major challenges we are faced with in general, are direct store delivery, the fact that we are expanding to high-risk markets such as Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, and finally: coping with a group of risky drivers, mainly male 25-to-30-year-olds”, said Mr Vuckovic.
Looking at the regional risk benchmark, Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean have 574 resp. 139 road fatalities per 100,000 vehicles, which is way above all other areas in the world. “The way to address this, is to work bottom-up and use both carrot and stick”.
“At ground level, you can make sure the vehicles are equipped with safety features and implement a safety-oriented fleet policy. One level up, you need leadership to ensure motivation and engagement. Then you have to look at your processes: what are the requirements and what do I need to train? Finally, on a governance level, you should focus on innovation and communication.”
Philip Morris International also relies on technical support in the shape of telematics. “They can mean the difference between life and death. Monitoring and analysing means preventing.”