Fleet Auto News’ Caroline Falls talks with Jerome Carslake, Director of the National Road Safety Partnership Program at Monash University's Accident Research Centre, about some of the safety programs he's involved with, mainly one called CLOCS-A that’s come out of London, and which is having a big impact on fleets here. This is an abridged transcript of the interview, also available here as a podcast.
I’ve invited you to the podcast because I was listening to a webinar you were hosting, and I was just fascinated to hear about Sydney Metro’s stipulations on suppliers and contractors. I jotted down a story idea: “How Sydney Metro is changing the world.” I know that’s a bit grandiose, but it’s sort of true isn’t it? Let’s talk about exactly what Sydney Metro is doing that is so transformative.
Sydney Metro has really taken a great leadership position. They’ve used their market power on Australia’s largest public infrastructure project to really say, “We can actually make a big impact and so these are the safety standards we’re going to operate on. This is what we expect of our suppliers and this is what we expect of our contractors.” They want to make sure they don’t hurt or injure or kill someone while they’re building these projects.
We’re talking about a particular strategy, a policy that’s called CLOCS-A. While it may roll off the tongue easily enough, what does it stand for? Where did that come from?
So the origins of CLOCS-A was really inspired and came out of the UK. CLOCS stands for construction, logistics and community safety. And because we’re looking at adapting into Australia, A is at the very end. London had a bad run with five people killed by lorries in central London (during the building of the 55 billion Euro London-Paris crossrail project). So over in the UK, they stepped up and TfL, Transport for London, went ahead and developed this entire program. Essentially, they said “This is unacceptable. We don’t want to see our projects, we don’t want to see trucks, killing road users.”
Maybe we can talk about some actual example, for instance, the waste bin group Grasshopper got new truck livery, to make it more reflective, to make it better to see in low light conditions that they were working in as just one upgrade to help us win contracts with Sydney Metro for the Central Station works. Can you give us some other real life examples that are coming out of this new strategy?
Grasshopper is a really, really good example because they are a little company, and they are users (of CLOCS), and exactly as what happens over in the UK, they use it as a chance to leapfrog over some of the larger competitors because they put these types of systems in place. Other elements include high visibility mirrors, squawkers on the side to let people know where the trucks are turning. Grasshopper had a fantastic one where they use something called Patronus which puts a beam on the ground and lets everyone know where the blind spots are. Driver training is another key component.
What role is your organisation, the National Road Safety Partnership Program, playing in bringing CLOCS to a wider audience in Australia?
We’ve established a memorandum of understanding, a steering group, and we have a number of organisations that have signed up to this — Sydney Metro, the Truck Industry Council, the Amy Gillet Foundation. Anyone can sign up.
Is there resistance in any quarters to it?
There always will be. Some say it’s too hard. This will stay here. In the UK there was like a 47 percent reduction in fatal and serious crashes between heavy vehicle drivers and volatile road users. And for fleet there’s less complaints. The goal will be to make it easy and consistent across the entire country.
Finally, our audience is predominantly fleet management and many are from local government with fleets that include heavy equipment. How can they get more information or participate in advancing CLOCS?
Get involved. Reach out. There is no cost.