Raising Awareness Among Truck Drivers and Companies: the Flemish Truck Safe Charter
Brenda Wilmots, Hasselt University, Transportation Research Institute, Dries Rombouts, Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV), Elke Hermans
In this paper we present the development of the Flemish Truck Safe charter and discuss the results of this initiative.
Due to vehicle characteristics and mass differences with other road users, crashes involving trucks often have dramatic consequences. In order to reduce the number of these crashes, the Flemish government (region in Belgium) launched in 2009 the idea of developing a road safety charter for both companies and truck drivers. By signing the Truck Safe charter, they would voluntarily engage themselves to respect a number of the included guidelines. In this paper, we present the developed charter for truck drivers and for companies which was launched in the spring of 2012 by the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge. We present the process before its launching (i.e. building the charter), the campaign results so far, as well as the future steps. In a first part of the paper, we describe the conducted literature review – which includes studying main causes of truck crashes, measures and existing initiatives to reduce truck crashes and create awareness - and resulted in a first draft of the Truck Safe Charter. This first version was finalized based on focus groups with relevant actors (transport organizations, employers organizations, etc.). Secondly, we present the campaign cycle and campaign results in terms of output indicators (over the full 3 campaign years, 2012-2014). The Self-Determination Theory is used as a framework to further elaborate on the campaign’s impact and discuss experiences of working with truck drivers and companies throughout the years. Finally, we reflect upon the future of this initiative (i.e. further promotion of the charter and ensuring its sustainable and embedded character in Flanders). We conclude that the charter is an accessible initiative and is a good way to create awareness and engage companies as a first step towards the creation of a safety culture in the long(er) run.
Association for European Transport