Fleet Forum Annual Meeting Calls for Action: Road Safety, Efficiency, Environment

Geneva, Switzerland (13 April 2012) – An urgent call for action concluded the Fleet Forum’s 10th annual conference today, recognising the vital importance of working collaboratively to develop practical and effective solutions to combat the global death toll caused by road accidents.

“Road traffic accidents continue to increase worldwide, causing human tragedies of crisis proportions,” said Paul Jansen, Executive Director of Fleet Forum. “Additionally, fleet safety and security are high on the global agenda due to challenges such as natural disasters and terrorist acts. Never before has safe, efficient, and environmentally sustainable road transport been as important as now. The conclusion of this conference is that our work together is more critical than ever.”

The Fleet Forum conference, held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 11-13 April, brought together more than 70 participants from across the transportation spectrum, including aid and development agencies, road safety organisations, commercial companies, government, and academia. Participants took part in a highly-interactive simulated road safety game and shared their experiences on a range of topics, such as effective fleet management models, mobile driver training programs, child road safety, environmentally efficient transport, safe driving programmes, clean fleet strategies, and accident investigation techniques.

Workshops demonstrated practical solutions to challenges faced by fleet operations, such as environmentally sound ways to dispose of vehicles, improving road safety by actively engaging drivers and preventing vehicle rollover, and leveraging technology to improve vehicle maintenance and better share knowledge.

Forum participants emphasised the importance of both donor and senior management support to the success of any fleet management and road safety programme, and the need for continued collaboration to reduce road traffic deaths and minimise environmental damage caused by transport activities.

Celebrating successes

The conference theme, Growth through Collaboration, highlighted both the urgent call to action as well as successful achievements to date. For the first time, Fleet Forum presented the Best Transport Achievement Award, given to the humanitarian organisation that most exemplified excellence in road safety, fleet safety, environmental impact, or cost efficiency. African NGO Riders for Health received the award for its excellent work in providing reliable and cost-efficient transportation solutions while facilitating primary health initiatives in the Gambia. The award was sponsored by global logistics company UPS.

Fleet Forum reviewed its own accomplishments over the past decade, including the development and practical implementation of road and fleet safety toolkits, guidelines, workshops, and the provision of training for more than 2,000 humanitarian staff. Fleet Forum thanked its over 200 member organisations for the support that has made all this possible.

Fleet Forum paid special tribute to its founders: TNT Express, the United Nations World Food Programme, World Vision International, and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). The IFRC hosted this year’s conference at its Geneva headquarters, a gracious contribution much appreciated by conference participants. Fleet Forum also thanked its 2012 conference sponsors RMA Group, Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings, and UPS, as well as partners Global Track, Kjaer & Kjaer, and Nissan.

Long-time Fleet Forum friends and ambassadors were also recognised: George Fenton and Lars Gustavsson of World Vision International; Dominic Grace of United Nations Development Programme; Swinda Hagedoorn and Esther Bosgra of TNT Express; Phil Jones of RMA Group; Rob McConnell, fleet management consultant; Dario Moro of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and Luk van Wassenhove of INSEAD.

Fleet Forum is a collaborative association that includes NGOs, international organisations, the United Nations, academic institutions, donors, and corporate partners. It is dedicated to the improvement of transportation performance in road safety, cost efficiency, and environmental impact in order to save lives, save money, and save resources.