– The accident rate for Christchurch’s Red Buses has fallen 40 per cent thanks to Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving (SAFED) training and new driver monitoring technology known as ‘telematics’.
The on-board computer technology, which collects real time vehicle data and reports performance back to drivers, is also resulting in reduced fuel and vehicle maintenance costs and a better passenger experience.
Paul McNoe, chief executive at Red Bus said, “As part of Road Safety Week, we’re thrilled to announce a 40 percent reduction in the number of accidents involving Red Buses since we implemented SAFED training for our drivers in late 2014.”
“As well as increased safety, telematics is also resulting in a smoother, more comfortable ride for passengers.”
The system’s dashboard display shows green, amber or red signals to indicate whether drivers’ performance is good, needing improvement or poor.
Speeding inadvertently, harsh braking, taking corners too quickly, revving the engine too hard and leaving the engine idling for too long are all monitored and reported back to the driver.
So far, 85 percent of kilometres travelled by Red Buses are now being monitored, with a third of the company’s drivers trained in SAFED to further improve performance.
The project has cost Red Bus less than $250,000 and the company is expecting a return on investment of 10% through business efficiencies like fuel reduction, repair and maintenance savings, says Mr McNoe.
Telematics has given Red Bus tangible performance data to acknowledge and reward drivers who are consistently driving professionally.
“Data produced by the telematics system provides effective feedback and tells us which drivers constantly display excellent driving; resulting in increased passenger comfort and safety, reduced fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, less tyre wear and savings on repairs and maintenance,” he said.
Telematics also provides independent data if there is an event or complaint from another road user or passenger.