The 7th Australian Road Safety Awards held in Melbourne this year, celebrated initiatives from across the nation to increase road safety.

The event’s guest speaker was international motoring legend Sir Jackie Stewart who spoke about the dramatic increase in safety awareness in today’s environment in contrast to when he used to race in the early 70’s.

Other guests included Craig Lowndes and other giants of the motoring and road safety industry.

South West Community Transport (SWCT) were nominated for the introduction of its ‘Driver Safety Briefings Program’.  The concept for the program arose from an analysis conducted by SWCT staff, which highlighted a ‘safety gap’ within operations when drivers travelled outside of normal service delivery boundaries of Fairfield to Wollondilly.

When drivers travel outside the normal service delivery boundaries they may experience:

  • Increase probability of driver fatigue;
  • Road conditions not usually experienced (e.g. gravel roads, steep gradients etc);
  • Unknown accident black spots;
  • Extra responsibilities of driving in convoy (e.g. keeping in touch with other vehicles).

To build upon the organisations commitment to the safety and comfort of its drivers, its clients and other road users Driver Safety Briefings were introduced.  Briefing information includes written information regarding:

  • Maps highlighting areas of concern (sections of roadway requiring extra vigilance or defensive driving);
  • Suggested routes of travel;
  • Identification of accident black spots;
  • Information regarding the number of vehicles;
  • Suggested rest stops (including those with facilities).

A driver briefing is also conducted prior to travel to discuss the above information.  The verbal briefing allows drivers to raise any additional issues and jointly ‘problem solve’ to ensure all drivers are co-ordinated in their travel.  The verbal briefing also allows for the written information to be refined prior to travel.

At a star-studded formal luncheon hosted by Channel 7’s Mark Beretta, the SWCT Operations Manager, Darrin Wilson was presented with the Encouragement Award for the introduction of our ‘Driver Safety Briefings’ and South West Community Transport were complimented on its commitment to innovation and improvement of safety.

Darrin gratefully received the award, acknowledging that although South West Community Transport was a non-government organisation relying of government funding to conduct its operations, safety was a priority. Receiving this award in the presence of so many large national companies is testament to the effort of SWCT, to ensure the safety of all staff and clients.