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The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

NYC Surveys Truck Fleets About Safety Practices

April 15, 2016

New York City has singled out food delivery service Fresh Direct and private utility Con Edison as standout fleets that have implemented numerous safer-driving practices.

The city's Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) surveyed more than 100 commercial fleets operating in January to assess their safety management protocols. The fleets were recognized at a workshop at the Vision Zero Cities conference from March 9-11. Vision Zero is the city's plan to end traffic deaths and injuries on city streets.

The workshop was hosted by Keith Kerman, Chief Fleet Officer for the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services and included panelists Bill Capune, Con Edison's safety manager, and Mike Derrig, Fresh Direct's director of fleet operations.

Transportation Alternatives, an activist group that promotes bicycling, walking, and public transit, is participating in the Vision Zero plan, and has said it will also begin recognizing safe fleets.

Fresh Direct has adopted driver monitoring systems and installed pedestrian side-guards on new trucks. The fleet uses safety technology such as pedestrian and blind-spot sensor systems, GPS tracking, and is evaluating the DriveCam video-based system.

Fresh Direct drivers must undergo space and visibility training with a concentration on pedestrian and dense city driving hazards.

"It is common practice that if a driver receives low performance scores based on performance telematics data, that driver loses driving privileges," said Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives. "We're interested in learning more about how Fresh Direct uses data generated by these driver telematics systems to regulate or alter the behavior of its drivers, and in certain situations, make sure they're not on the road.

Con Edison, an investor-owned energy utility, has also implemented rigorous training programs, including using driver simulators, peer-to-peer driver coaching, and sharing lessons learned from fleet drivers and crash data.

As part of the survey, the city found that more than three-quarters of respondents require incumbent drivers to complete training programs. The fleets address the risk of blind-spot crashes by implementing specific training around that topic (88%) or using technology (67%) and vehicle design modifications (56%).

The fleets are implementing other safety strategies such as mirror alignment stations at driver facilities, pedestrian side-guards, back-up cameras, and utilizing crash mapping research to inform drivers of safe routes.

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