The CVIU’s new Top Cop Gwynne Pennell unveiled a new approach to commercial vehicle policing at the RTA seminar in St Arnaud in May.

She is intending to use data to plan where and when to deploy the energy and resources of CVIU; the biggest risks will attract the most resources in terms of time and / or manpower. The source of that data? Amongst others, crash statistics and the low achievers in the ORS ratings, when the public versions are published.

In addition to that, there is an assumption that the observation of one unsafe act may be a symptom of a low attitude towards safety. This may be a simple act such as failing to stop at a stop sign, but is that same driver distracted by talking on a cell phone, is he wearing a seatbelt? If a truck crashes on the Kaikoura coast, is this a one off incident, or the symptom of an issue with either that driver, or that company?

An Attitude of Safety

The concept of an attitude of safety is not new. Pre-employment ARM (Accident Risk Management) profiling aims to flush out those whose safety attitudes may not be a cost effective addition to your fleet.

The Operator Rating System (or Operator Safety Rating) similarly has its make up biased towards infringements and exceptions – those behaviours that will focus the attention of a patrolling officer. Your problem is now that with the advent of ORS, a quick driver is not just risking his own license (and your freight and reputation), he is also earning you a black mark against your TSL for your next ORS rating.

Now more than ever is the time to address those lingering concerns you have that your fleet could be performing a little better; a little safer and more professionally.

The peak for truck crashes is Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday lunchtimes. If the CVIU do indeed get their requested access to highway patrol cars, this would be the time to expect to see them flagging down your drivers before they overcook the next corner.

What would be your priority, if your GPS data was translated into an easy to read picture of your travelling risks? Consider following the example of the CVIU; they have data at their disposal which is allowing them to make decisions about their priorities. So do you.


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