Case study

Public safety – a key focus area

Market leadership
High barriers
to entry
Scarce raw
Skills and talent

The passenger transport division transports more than 10 million people over more than 112 million km annually. With such high volumes, it is key to the sustainability of the business to ensure that passengers are safe when using any of the services, and that third-party road users are considered when buses are in transit.

To implement road safety successfully, a holistic approach is taken – managing all aspects from vehicle maintenance and safety to continuous driver training. Highly skilled people are employed and entrusted with taking care of equipment and people’s lives, which makes this a highly specialised and high barrier to entry business.

Key elements to this strategy include:

Sophisticated and advanced 24/7 vehicle monitoring control rooms
Through tracking devices, the team monitors driver speed to ensure that the required limit is maintained throughout the journey. Should a driver exceed the company set speed limit (a maximum of 100 km/h), they are contacted by the tracking team to initiate immediate corrective action. Impact alerts are sent to this department for immediate follow-up. In addition, pre-loaded no-go areas are activated by alarms for scheduled routes and monitoring is managed through trip scheduling with automated reporting on driver, vehicle and trip performance.

Pre-trip inspection
Before any departure, all buses are fully inspected, including all roadworthy and critical safety checks.

Preventative and regular maintenance
All vehicles undergo weekly workshop inspections. All workshops are accredited by major OEMs of the bus fleet, including Volvo, Mercedes Benz and MAN. A strict preventative, predicative and component life management programme is followed, with advanced administrative maintenance control systems to support road safety. When tyres are scrapped and removed from vehicles, they are inspected for root causes. A preventative plan is then implemented to eliminate the root cause to ensure tyre safety.

To manage unusual driver behaviour or reactions, such as hard braking or sharp cornering, drivecams send alerts to operation managers. Unusual behaviour is recorded and corrective measures can be put in place immediately.

Helivac emergency services
A 24-hour medical call centre can provide drivers and hostesses with emergency medical advice, emergency medical response to the scene of an accident, medical transportation and trauma counselling.

Ongoing training

  • Drivers: Training is conducted with driver trainers and drivers to ensure that the rules of the road are adhered too, correct driving habits are followed and all safety aspects are considered when on the road. Intercity is a registered Transport Education Training Authority (TETA) and manages all driver training for the business.
  • Hostesses and hosts: Training includes basic first-aid training, fire evacuation training and preventative measures training for incidences such as breakdowns and safety procedures for accidents.
  • Technicians: Training includes daily communication with workshop staff on safety priority elements and weekly themes that directly support safety aspects.

Vehicle features
Vehicle safety features include lane guard assist, emergency brake assist, seat belts and adaptive cruise control.

Member of regulatory boards
Members of management are active on regulatory boards that advise on and implement the Occupational Health and Safety Act and guidelines of the National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA), the leading global supplier of occupational risk management services and solutions.

All vehicles have to undergo a six-monthly ‘certificate of fitness’ test with the national roads authority. Without this, a vehicle is deemed unroadworthy. Although this is an expensive test, at R30 000 per vehicle, it is a non-negotiable requirement.

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