Bangkok, Thailand, 25 June 2018
The first ever Driver Recognition Programme Southeast Asia, a road safety competition to recognise the pivotal role of humanitarian drivers, was hosted in Thailand from 29 to 30 June 2018 at RMA Automotive’s Assembly and Distribution Center in Laem Chabang.
The Driver Recognition Programme is a humanitairian eco- and safe driving inter-agency
competition, that recognises the important role drivers play in the sustainability and health and safety objectives of aid and development organisations. The event is coordinated by Fleet Forum, an international non-profit organisation, that brings the transport sector together to chart a way in fleet management and road safety.
“Despite their critical role in delivery of aid, drivers can often go unrecognised. By facilitating this Driver Recognition Programme, Fleet Forum aims to provide the aid and development community with a useful tool to engage and recognise their drivers” says Nikita Udhwani, Fleet Forum Programme Manager.
In aid and development organisations, drivers are not only responsible for the wellbeing and safety of passengers but they are also in charge of high value vehicles and their equipment. They are the most prominent public face of the organisation, and often have to deal with difficult situations, bad roads, hostile environments and unfair passenger demands. This event is designed to engage, educate, inspire and recognise the best drivers for their contributions, and encourage a workforce of safe road users and remain accident-free at all times, in order to save lives and eliminate crash related costs.
Several aid and development organisations – Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, UNFPA, UNICEF, World Food Programme, World Health Organization and World Bank – are participating in this edition of the Driver Recognition Programme. At the start of the programme in November 2017, over 90 drivers from 8 organisations in 13 Southeast Asian countries registered. Since then, Fleet Forum has been working with Country and Senior Management of each of the organisations to identify their best driver.
At the final event, each driver will be accompanied by a senior representative of the same organisation who will serve as a co-driver encouraging and cheering on their drivers.
A total of 10 drivers will compete for the 2018 Driving Champion Award. The teams will undergo several challenges to determine who is the best team out of the participating organisations. At the end of the event, the best 3 three teams will be recognised. The award is co-sponsored by PAE and RMA. The programme aims to nurture a workforce of drivers who are safe and fuel efficient, reducing operational costs, environmental impacts and road crashes.
Time spent on the road is the most dangerous part of a humanitarian worker’s job. Many more drivers are injured or killed in vehicle-related incidents than by any other means. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.3 million people around the world die each year in road accidents, while between 20 and 50 million people sustain non-fatal injuries. More than 90 percent of fatalities occur in developing countries, despite low motorisation. Globally, road accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged 15–29 years.
An estimated 24,000 deaths from road crashes occur annually in Thailand; 83 percent of those are among vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists). The economic cost of road crashes for Thailand is 5 percent of its Gross Domestic Product.
Title Sponsors RMA Group and PAE have played a pivotal role in bringing this event to Thailand. PAE offers support for the essential missions of a wide range of customers, including international organizations. RMA Group is known for its expertise in delivering high quality vehicle modifications, OEM parts distribution and service support. Both PAE and RMA Group offer services to the humanitarian sector and fully understand the critical role drivers play in the delivery of aid and development and welcome the opportunity to recognise them for their accomplishments.
“We are extremely honored to be hosting the very first Driver Recognition Programme Finals right here in Thailand. As a company employing our own fleet of drivers we understand the challenges faced by our drivers every day and that they require regular skills training to keep them ahead of the game. Our experienced trainers who developed the Driving Championship Final challenges have applied some of the best skills training exercises for the event. I am confident that all drivers and not only a winner, but will leave the event enriched with a deeper knowledge of road safety, spatial recognition and vehicle control,” announced Kevin Whitcraft, CEO, RMA Group.
World Food Programme, a long-time supporter and board member organisation of Fleet Forum, has graciously assumed the role of humanitarian host of this final event. World Food Programme consistently strives to invest in their drivers and understands that performance management involves recognising both positive behaviours as well as areas of the improvement of their drivers.
“WFP has established the Road Safety campaign in line with United Nations’ resolution for Road Safety, which proclaimed 2011 – 2020 the Decade of Action on Road Safety,” says Martin Walsh, WFP Programme Manager - Global Vehicle Leasing Programme. “From the very beginning, WFP has emphasised the critical role each one of us has to play, ensuring the highest standards of behaviour are conveyed on the road.”
In aid and development organisations, drivers are not only responsible for the wellbeing and safety of passengers but they are are also in charge of high value vehicles and their equipment. They are the most prominent public face of the organisation and often have to deal with difficult situations, bad roads, hostile environments and unfair demands. At the same time, driving style has a great influence on fleet costs; from fuel consumption to repairs. The drivers can either reduce or increase the costs to the organisation.
Unfortunately, the role of drivers is not always appreciated. In many country operations, the drivers are taken for granted, and their contribution to the success of the organisation is not always recognized or appreciated. One of the underlying causes of the lack of recognition is the absence of consistent and accurate data collection on driver performance. Only a handful of organisations collect driver performance data that provides meaningful information about the individual performance of drivers.
Fleet Forum wishes to acknowledge the critical role that drivers play in the delivery of aid and development. Driver recognition initiatives in the corporate sector have proven that investment in such programmes is beneficial and leads to cost savings. At the same time they reduce accidents and improve employee engagement. Fleet Forum wants to be the game-changer when it comes to driver recognition. In 2015, it received funding from the UPS Foundation and Road Safety Fund to develop and execute a Driver Recognition Programme for drivers in the aid and development sector.
Driver Recognition Programme – the idea
The Driver Recognition Programme is an eco- and safe driving competition that recognizes the important role that drivers play in the sustainability and health and safety objectives of aid and development organisations. The Driver Recognition Programme consists of local and regional qualification rounds that lead to the big final event in which the best drivers from different countries compete to be the best driver
and win the annual Driver Award. The qualification rounds measure the practical driving skills and test the knowledge of drivers, while the final event simulates a ‘typical day in the life of the driver’. During the finals, the selected drivers will also engage in side activities such as driving clinics and workshops that support eco- and safe driving techniques.
Driver Recognition Programme – the objectives
The objectives of the Driver Recognition Programme are to engage, educate and inspire employe and subcontracted drivers in an effort to:
- Reduce road traffic accidents.
- Ensure a healthy working environment.
Ø Ensure a healthy working environment.
- Increase service levels to programmes.
- Improve driver health.
- Increase driver engagement.
The Programme also aims to:
Ø improve data collection on driver performance;
Ø engage, educate and inspire staff members of aid and development agencies worldwide, as well as beneficiaries, suppliers and subcontractors, to play a role in supporting and helping to achieve the broader mandate of the organisations.
About Fleet Forum
Fleet Forum is a non-profit member association that started with a simple idea in 2003: convene a forum of humanitarian and commercial organisations to develop standards of practice for fleet management operations in developing countries. Several years later, Fleet Forum has expanded the way they provide support: from facilitating in-country trainings to consulting on the fleet management strategy of organisations. At the heart of Fleet Forum is the desire for all organisations to manage their fleet in a way that saves lives, keep costs low and has minimal impact on the environment.
Title Sponsors and Humanitarian Host
This event would not be possible without the unwavering support of:
Humanitarian host: World Food Programme, Fleet Forum’s long-time supporter and board member organisation. World Food Programme consistently strives to invest in their drivers and understand that performance management involves recognising both positive behaviours as well as areas of the improvement of their drivers. WFP has co-hosted the final event for this programme in East Africa for the past three years.
PAE is a trusted national security implementing partner for the U.S. government, its allied partners and international organizations. Through its international logistics and stabilization work in some of the world’s most challenging environments, safe road travel is a cornerstone of PAE’s support to customers. PAE has trained thousands of drivers in various countries over the past six decades, with the dual objective of expanding their own talented workforce and imparting professional skills to the
communities where they operate. RMA Group is headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand, employing over 7,500 people worldwide with operations in 14 countries. RMA is the partner of choice for leading automotive, equipment, services and food brands in Southeast Asia and beyond. Within the automotive manufacturing and distribution business, RMA Automotive is known for its expertise in delivering high quality vehicle
modifications, OEM parts distribution and service support. RMA Automotive is a long-standing supplier to humanitarian organizations and RMA’s subsidiary Global Fleet Sales, is Ford Motor Company’s official aid and development distributor.
Eight organisations from 13 countries, representing 20 country offices, encouraged 90 drivers to participate in the Qualifying Rounds. At this final event in the first Southeast Asia Driver Recognition Programme, we have ten teams participating.