TSR2019: Lead By Example Day 2

Our Annual Meeting, TSR2019: Lead By Example, was held in Washington, D.C. earlier this month and was a great success, thanks to amazing speakers, as well as guests and member companies in attendance. Executives from both the public and private sectors came together to share best practices, insights and stories around road safety, including: Vision Zero Fleet Safety, Smart Cities, Safer Cities, Cities for People, Safer Transportation, and more. You may peruse our full agenda here.

If you missed our recap of Day 1 of TSR2019, you may read it here.

Day 2 kicked off with our City Mobility/Smart Cities panel, moderated by Rob Bauer, Head of Sharing Economy & Mobility Group at Marsh. The panelists, Faye DiMassimo, Specialist Leader, Deloitte Consulting; Jeff Davis, Head of Smart Transportation Innovation and Development, Blackberry; and Michael Burdiek, President, Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors, CalAmp took a look at the importance of the public and private sectors working together to build smart cities – those that are mobile and data-centric, with leaders who gather the right data, ask the right questions and know how to turn information into action. “Both need to learn how to become good partners. We have different roles to play and each needs to respect what the other needs from a partnership,” said DiMassimo. “Also, become a risk taker – something public entities do not typically do.”

Further, the importance of observation in data collection was a key point, as was risk: “People value safety, but don’t calculate risk very well.”

The Making Cities For People panel was captivating, as the panel discussed ways that cities today are managing new transportation modes and making places that are great for living, working and visiting. Moderated by Beth Osborne, Director, Transportation for America, the panelists included Matthew Lister, Partner, Managing Director NY, Gehl Studio; Mike Griffith, Director of the Office of Safety Integration, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); and Jason Schrieber, Senior Principal at Stantec’s Urban Places. After sharing some sobering statistics on roadway fatalities, Griffith discussed ways to advance safety for all roads users, including the use of “road diets,” and how to work with States to systemically improve pedestrian crossing safety. “There are plenty of solutions we can use to advance safety,” he said. They also discussed the need to capture and record more data about pedestrians not using cross walks because they are too scared. “Data sharing is crucial to learning how to make cities safer for the people walking around them, as well as driving.”

Matthew Lister emphasized the need for a better collaborative infrastructure among people, governments, and businesses to truly make systems change. He also shared fascinating before and after case studies on how cities around the world have made clear, visual space changes that enhance collaboration and safety for all road users.

Our final panel, Global Fleet Safety Standards, discussed documented fleet safety successes and tips to increase the safety of large vehicles through technology and training investments worldwide. Paul Washicko, SVP of Product Management at CalAmp, moderated with panelists Peter Binham, Principal City Planner | City Planning, Transport for London; Bryan Fenster, Senior Manager, Safety, Republic Services; and Alexander Epstein, Safety, Energy, and Sustainability Engineer at Volpe Center/USDOT.

The panel covered a variety of topics as they relate to fleet safety, starting with the importance of partnerships in solving your key challenges: “You have to understand the road safety problem to be solved so you can build upon it and offer other solutions, or look at it another way, which sometimes means bringing in other partners,” said Washicko.

And while technology was discussed thoroughly, the importance of training drivers to think safely and act safely was also key. “You have to get people to think differently about making safe choices.” Bryan Fenster of Republic Services emphasized the importance of elevating learning and offering a training program geared to the driver’s level. “We have drivers of all different backgrounds, who come from different regions – so a ‘one size fits all’ approach to training doesn’t work.” Binham agreed: “Develop training for the purpose and individual driver, and make it accessible and flexible.”

Binham also talked about the importance of global standards, such as ensuring driver safety and health checks. “If your driver can’t see and they’re in a vehicle with blind spots, it’s very difficult to be a safe driver,” he said.

Epstein further chimed in on drivers: “Make sure you understand your drivers’ challenges and take the time to familiarize them with new technologies.” He stated the importance for fleet managers to recognize human psychology and the natural behavior to oppose new things, and to develop training around combatting that challenge. He also encouraged attendees – or any fleet manager or owner – to read the recent Safe Fleet Transition Plan that he helped prepare for NYC’s Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

Fenster concluded, “Understand that you’re dealing with humans and training is key. Technology is good and it works but we’re heavily focused on training as well.”

Members and guests stayed for lunch and helped us to wrap up a successful Annual Meeting. Thank you to all of our members, speakers, and guests for attending. We look forward to your feedback in our survey and will use it to make TSR2020 an even more fulfilling and educational experience, with actionable advice to take part in improving road safety around the world.