SAN DIEGO, Calif. --- SmartDrive Systems Inc., a leader in vehicle safety services, announced the two winners (one in the U.S., one in Europe) of the Safety-Risk Manager of the Year for 2007. In the United States, the winner is Sam Dunbar, director of safety for Con-way Freight. In Europe, the award goes to Jon York, fleet operations manager for British Gas (U.K.), a subsidiary of Centrica Corp. As director of safety for Con-way Freight, Dunbar is in charge of more than 7,000 power units and 16,000 drivers. He has implemented a series of safety measures for the company. This year, under Dunbar's tutelage, Con-way sent 52 of its drivers to the National Truck Driving Championships (known as the "Super Bowl of Safety") in Minneapolis. Dunbar's approach to managing his fleet includes a safety program and a new driver benefits, bonus and retention package. Dunbar has been Con-way's director of safety for 13 years. Prior to that, he was regional manager for Con-way's southern region. He has worked for the company since the 1980s. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dunbar played professional baseball in the Chicago White Sox system, eventually making it to the major leagues as a pitcher. "This is a fitting and well deserved honor for Sam," said Bob Petrancosta, vice president of safety for Con-way Freight. "Through his leadership, skill and dedication our safety program has become one of the most effective and progressive in the industry." British Gas Fleet Operations Manager Jon York has put in place one of the best fleet safety and risk mitigation programs in the United Kingdom. York manages a fleet of more than 15,000 vehicles, ranging from sedans to large trucks. Over the past 18 months, British Gas' road safety programs have gone well beyond what is common in the wider transport industry. In 2006, British Gas cut collisions by 8 percent and reduced costs by £730,000 year. SmartDrive Systems and the radio show "Fleet Radio by SmartDrive" sponsor the Safety-Risk Manager of the Year Award. The field of entries was narrowed down to 20 semi-finalists in mid-July, and the two winners were notified in early August.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials