Mary Williams OBE, the chief executive of British road safety charity Brake, has congratulated Kenyan coach company EasyCoach Ltd, on being awarded the first ever Global Fleet Champions Award for Fleet Analysis and Action.
EasyCoach were recognised as a role model for other bus companies in Kenya and across sub-Saharan Africa for their use of fleet management information systems to deliver safe and efficient transport.
Presented by Pamoja Road Safety Initiative at Nairobi’s Kenyatta International Conference Centre on Monday (6 May), the award is the first to be given as part of Brake’s Global Fleet Champions campaign.
Brake is a UK based road safety charity working with communities and organisations across the UK and around the world to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and support people bereaved and seriously injured on roads.
Global Fleet Champions Awards celebrate the best safety and sustainability standards of fleets anywhere in the world, including in low- and middle-income nations where occupational road risk management is in urgent need of promoting and encouraging.
Azym Dossa HSC, managing director at EasyCoach Ltd, said: “We are delighted and honoured to receive the Global Fleet Champions Award for Fleet Analysis and Action, which recognises our stringent road safety enhancement system.
“In a country where the public transport service is often associated with chaos and institutionalised disregard for order, rules and regulations, this will give us more responsibility and further motivation to continue our efforts to bring discipline, reliability and predictability to bus transport in Kenya and offer a dignified passenger service to Kenyans.”
Sponsored by Verizon Connect, the Fleet Analysis and Action Award recognises organisations that have introduced strong management systems to identify and tackle the safety and environmental impact of vehicles used on their behalf.
The ceremony marked the start of the United Nations Global Road Safety Week 2019 in Kenya, which will also see a national campaign to collect blood for the Kenya National Blood Transfusion Service.
According to estimates from the World Health Organization, nearly 13.5k Kenyans died in road crashes in 2016, a four-fold increase on the government’s figure of 3k deaths in the same year.
The problem has been highlighted in recent years by crashes involving Kenya’s intercity public service buses, such as the crash at Fort Ternan in Kericho County in October 2017 that killed 58 people, making headlines worldwide.
During the awards ceremony, Pamoja Road Safety Initiative unveiled its manifesto for safer bus transport in Kenya, in which it calls on the Government of Kenya to put safety first and reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries caused by crashes involving buses, especially large-capacity buses with a seating capacity of 45 or more.
They are calling for the introduction of thorough training and testing for all bus drivers, an action plan to address the risk of driver fatigue, and higher standards for the maintenance and condition of all large-capacity buses, including immediate adherence to the KS372 standard for vehicle body building.
Mary Williams OBE, said: “Road deaths caused by passenger vehicles are a global catastrophe. The good news is that these deaths can be prevented through government action, through good policy that controls the management of organisations operating passenger vehicles on our roads.
“These deaths can also be stopped by organisations that transport passengers taking responsibility for safety and saying that they will put safety first. We are delighted to work with Pamoja Road Safety Initiative through the Global Fleet Champions programme to reward EasyCoach Ltd for putting safety first.”
Lucas Munene, team leader at Pamoja Road Safety Initiative, said: “Work-related road risk remains the joint responsibility of the employer and employee. Both should be proactive and take risk management approach in order to comply with their legal duties and ensure their own safety on the road and that of the road users around them.”
Simon Austin, marketing manager UK & Ireland at Verizon Connect, said: “The right attitude to road safety means more efficient transport, less pollution and, most importantly, fewer crashes. I support the Global Fleet Champions campaign for not only striving to promote the right attitude but also providing the support to help fleets make more informed choices.”