Together for Safer Roads’ 2021 Annual Meeting
In mid-September, we brought together members and partners to discuss our collective road safety work, explore opportunities to substantially improve road safety, and develop program partnerships to save lives.
These “working sessions” included private and public sector experts presenting on a range of topics as well as Together for Safer Roads (TSR)’ Vision Fund grant winners.
The main goals of the annual meeting were to:
- Better leverage systems thinking and predictive analytics at the intersection of technology, data, and public health
- Think differently about the role of fleets in road safety and how we might use fleets to map our streets for the betterment of every road user
- Scale the use of new technology, near miss analysis and new safety performance indicators that can take us from reactive tactics to proactive strategies
If you missed any of the two-day meeting, we’ve recapped the meeting below.
September 14, 2021
Welcome – David Braunstein, President, TSR
Dave Braunstein, President of TSR, kicked off the meeting reminding attendees that TSR was founded as a business coalition dedicated to creating safer roads during the FIRST United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety in 2014. With the SECOND Decade of Action having started in 2020 and our meeting being held the week prior to the start of the UN General Assembly convenings, we are reinforcing our commitment to making our streets and our communities more livable. We are rejecting the idea that every year 1.4 million people will die and tens of millions more will be seriously injured in traffic crashes.
He went on to describe our main program areas:
- Our Safer Cities program serves as our coalition’s way to bring the business community together with public sector leaders who recognize the value of public private partnerships for road safety.
- Our Safer Companies & Fleets initiative is our way of taking the knowledge and expertise needed to create safety cultures and makes it accessible to companies in communities large and small.
- Through our Safer Roads Studio, we push the envelope to not only imagine new safety interventions that can scale, but we also to put those solutions to work in demonstrable ways.
TSR continues to work closely with our members and many collaborators to advance programs that make a difference.
We are a powerful group – fleet operators, technology companies, vehicle manufacturers, public sector leaders, vision zero practitioners, road safety advocates, drivers, walkers, and bikers. Together, we can make the world’s roads safe for everyone.
Keynote – Hon. Bruce Landsberg, Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board
Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, Bruce Landsberg, provided a prerecorded keynote.
Bruce was sworn in as Vice Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board on August 7, 2018, to become its 43rd Member. He has an illustrious career in transportation safety. He has more than 7,000 hours piloting aircraft, holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate with instructor ratings for airplane single and multi-engine land, instruments, and advanced instrument/ground instructor certificates. A graduate of the University of Maryland with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Bruce also served in the U.S. Air Force.
Vice Chairman Landsberg knows there is no shortage of safety opportunities to tackle. He is, like all of us, a stubborn optimist. He is impatient and eager to apply some of the systemic approaches that have been used so successfully in aviation to other transportation modes. For his new term as Vice Chairman, Bruce is particularly focused on:
- Reducing distraction and speeding related highway crashes
- Ensuring reliable automation in vehicles, and
- Making the case for increased use of automated enforcement
Session 1: Using Fleets to Map Our Streets
David Braunstein, Together for Safer Roads; Patrick Breiner, RoadBotics; Bruce Hamilton, Roadway Safety Foundation; Jessie Lazarus, CARMERA; Rob McInerney, iRap; and Jason Whittet, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
How do we know if our roads are built to keep all road users safe from injury and death?
We need detailed and up-to-date information on the built environment. Unfortunately, this information is usually missing, imprecise or out-of-date. Right now, obtaining new data is expensive and time-consuming. However, accurate data is available from vehicle-mounted cameras.
Many commercial fleets are equipped with this technology. The camera footage can be digitized and then analyzed by machine learning algorithms to inventory roadway details like sidewalks, crosswalks, traffic signs and other safety measures. A collective effort is needed from fleets, technologists, and safety practitioners to make this information available.
Session 2: Mainstreaming Near Miss Analytics
Noah Budnick, Together for Safer Roads; Cal Coplai, Ford Mobility; Franz Loewenherz, City of Bellevue; and Amir Rizavi, VHB
Near-misses have long been the “holy grail” of road safety data. In recent years, technology companies have successfully built video analytics platforms that reliably measure them, the road users involved and their movements.
A recent TSR project in Bellevue, WA — the first-ever city-wide near-miss study — found that near-misses are a reliable indicator of future crashes. Communities can use near-miss data to get ahead of crashes and make improvements before injuries, or worse, occur. As the private sector turns its attention to road safety as a social cause, how can business leaders champion predictive analytics for the public benefit?
September 15, 2021
Welcome and Keynote
David Braunstein, President, TSR; and Greg Silverman, CEO, Westside Campaign Against Hunger
Small fleets support our communities, and TSR and our members support small fleets. The West Side Campaign Against Hunger has grown its operations to rise to the challenges of the last 18 months and more. It’s an amazing example of the importance of fleets and fleet safety in people’s daily well-being. Learning about their work will strengthen TSR members’ connections to NYC and inspire their work in other parts of the world.
Session 1: Vision Zero Technology Fund Award Presentation
David Braunstein, Noah Budnick and Kat Krieger (Together for Safer Roads); Nigel Reid (City Harvest); and Steve Jamgochian (Rosev Dairy)
The Vision Zero Technology Fund is a first-of-its-kind grantmaking program to help purpose-based organizations build data-driven fleet safety cultures.
The Fund underwrites fleets’ adoption of lifesaving vehicle technologies like telematics, backup and side view cameras, collision avoidance systems and side guards. TSR members, the UPS Foundation and CalAmp, are presenting sponsors of the inaugural fund. Learn about the inaugural grant recipients—City Harvest and Rosev Dairy—and how you can help continue the Vision Zero Technology Fund’s success.
What the Grant Meant to City Harvest
by Nigel Reid, Director of Transportation for City Harvest
We have a fleet of 26 refrigerated trucks spanning from the size of small vans, all the way up to tractor-trailers. Every day, our trucks are out on the road picking up an excess of food from more than 2,000 local food donors and delivering that food free of charge to a network of over 400 soup kitchens around New York city.
Fleet is very important to us because we’re always on the road, making sure that we’re picking up product and delivering it as safely as possible to those who need it.
When it comes to fleet safety, we’re out there providing a service for our community, providing food for people who are food insecure, so we want to make sure that the vehicles that we’re putting out on the road are safe as possible, we want to make sure that the drivers that we are putting out on the road are operating those vehicles as safe as possible and meeting that Vision Zero plan.
We’re always looking at new technologies and new trainings in order to ensure that we’re meeting that standard. The grant came around at a very opportune time because we were actually looking into changing our telematics system for more robust one. The technology fund from TSR really helped to expedite that transition. We were able to get telematics on all of our vehicles, giving us greater insight into what is going on with our vehicles from a mechanical standpoint and also from a safe driving standpoint, learning our drivers’ habits and being able to target our training towards those bad habits and making sure that we nip those in the bud before they become a larger issue while out on the road.
We were also able to use that fund to add additional backup cameras to our vehicles to reduce the amount of backing accidents that we’re having.
What the Grant Meant to Rosev Dairy
by Steve Jamgochian, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Rosev Dairy
Rosev Dairy is a full-service distributor of dairy and beverage products. We have grown into a supplier of a variety of different types of customers. We service mom-and-pop convenience stores, ice cream shops, and we distribute to the Massachusetts department of corrections system. We also service a number of school systems in greater Boston and 40 different school systems in eastern Massachusetts. We also service restaurants and foodservice operations for nursing homes and hospitals and a wide variety of customers.
Fleet safety is again utmost in our mind all the time but especially when we’re dealing with school systems.
We recently upgraded our fleet, and we have new trucks that are on a full-service lease Program. And when we built the trucks, we did install things such as backup cameras and when we’re in the city of Boston we have the Samsara systems on so we can monitor the trucks’ operations.
And the next step was the side guards that we wanted to put on the trucks and comply with some of the requirements of the city and again to enhance safety and prevent people from sliding underneath trucks accidentally. So we did some research to find out what the best systems would be to put on our trucks, and we came up with a program with one of our local truck repair shops and we then approached the City of Boston who introduced us to Noah and TSR.
We began talking about the grant program to support putting sidebars on our trucks so that that was the main purpose of the grant money. We’ve increased the safety features on the trucks and hopefully make it safer as we distribute throughout the cities.
Session 2: Direct Vision Cab Design
David Braunstein, Together for Safer Roads; Kate Cairns, Cairns Consulting; Alex Epstein, U.S. DOT Volpe Center; Bryan Fenster, Republic Services; Andy Graves, Dennis Eagle; Keith Kerman, NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS); Kirk Sander, National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA); and Sam Weller, Transport for London (TFL)
Trucks designed with poor visibility are a problem the world over. It shouldn’t be—as cab designs that reduce driver blind zones exist. If private and public sector fleet leaders come together, we could make “direct vision cab design” the universal standard. TSR’s members and partners operate the largest fleets in the world. How can we create market demand and leverage it to transform trucks?
Session 3: Scaling Focus on Fleet Safety
Glenn Atkinson, Geotab; Noah Budnick and David Frick, Together for Safer Roads; David Fields and Lalla Morris, City of Houston; William Jett, GrowNYC; Daniel McGuigan, PepsiCo; Kennen Smith, Facility Solutions Plus; and Tara Weber, Jessica Whitaker & Brian Whitaker, Qworky
This session discussed identifying partners and funding to scale the FOCUS program, TSR’s workforce development program for small- to mid-sized fleets, utilizing the industry’s best practices. The program helps companies achieve safe and efficient operations through a combination of safety training, leadership development and technology. The discussion invoked new ideas and discussed a value proposition for small and mid-sized businesses to participate in FOCUS.