Have you ever thought how compliant your drivers are in the urban areas?
Do they behave the same in these areas as they do on the open road?
Urban speed areas are complex in their need to provide safe travel for foot, bicycle and motorised traffic. They are supposed to provide a safe environment for all users.
At CCS Logistics we monitor many drivers and fleets whose open road speed behaviour is exemplary but when it comes to the urban areas you would think that another driver had jumped into the cab. So much of your focus can be based around the open road performances of your drivers that you can easily forget about the dangers within the urban areas, Schools, shops and community centres are just a few of the dangers that lurk for your drivers. The results of an accident in populated areas scare the life out of me and I prefer not to look at the stats, however;
- 20% of all fatal truck crashes occur in urban areas.
- A person struck by a vehicle travelling at 60km/h is twice as likely to be killed as they would be if the vehicle had been travelling at 50km/h
The high visual presence of your trucks makes them easily recognised by the public and none more so than through the populated areas. Children in particular take notice of which trucks pass by their school or home. One school, situated on State Highway 1 in North Canterbury, has built a road safety awareness program around the relationship with local trucking companies. The children know the trucks that keep to the speed limit and take special note of those that don’t. When the road patrol is in operation the kids give a big “thumbs up” to the drivers that maintain the speed limit and a big “thumbs down” to those that ignore it. A friendly letter from the children is sent to the offending companies as a reminder that their school is on the main road and that they appreciate those drivers that comply with the speed limit.
The fact of the matter is that the majority of over speed events in urban areas occur within 200 metres of the speed sign. This means that the decision to slow down is either not made early enough or in some cases the reduction in speed does not start until the sign is reached.
A gradual reduction in speed so that you are travelling at the correct speed by the time you pass the sign is more fuel efficient and easier on the machine than braking at the last moment.
For drivers with regular routes these urban speed zones should not come as any surprise and they have no excuses for infringing in these areas. For a new driver it is important that he or she become familiar where these zones start and finish.
50 / 60 / 70km/h speed zones need to be factored into the trip times to ensure that drivers are not pushing the boundaries and are not frustrated by what often seem to be unnecessary speed restrictions. Make it your business to remind your drivers and yourself about these urban speed areas and the importance of complying with the speed limit.
Standing out like a sore thumb is par for the course for a big shinny truck so while you are telling everyone who you are, why not show them how good you are?