COCA-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) and the Department of Transport (DoT) today launched a joint project aimed at improving the driving skills of truck and bus drivers. The project will see CCBSA making available two of its state-of-the-art simulator trucks for use by the department and government broadly to aid in the competency levels of truck and bus drivers, as well as other public transport drivers across the country. CCBSA will avail the trucks for use one day a week throughout the year. The truck simulator project was officially launched at a function to mark the launch of the Easter Arrive Alive Road Safety Campaign on Monday in Pietermaritzburg. “As a company with a national footprint and significant fleet on the roads, road safety is top of mind in the CCBSA Logistics operation. CCBSA supports the Arrive Alive Campaign and delivers initiatives and training interventions aligned to the campaign’s objectives”, said Flora Jika, CCBSA Logistics Director“CCBSA has been using this truck simulator as a way to improve the skills of all our drivers who help us move our product across the country. The use of this simulator has significantly improved the competency levels of our drivers and consequently reduced our road related safety incidents. As a responsible South African citizen, we are proud to make this facility available to the broader driving community to support the DoT’s Road Safety campaign,” said Jika. “Through improved competency levels of truck drivers and other public transport drivers on our roads we believe a change of culture and behaviour among drivers is possible and we are confident that we will contribute to making our roads safer.”CCBSA has a number of other initiatives to help reduce pressure on the road infrastructure. Jika pointed out that the company has moved 30% of its deliveries from peak to off-peak times (between 8pm-5am). “The initial implementation of this project took place in highly congested areas to reduce road congestion. This has also had other productivity benefits for us as it allows us to load more products on each vehicle during night shift. “Our efforts and innovations are driven by a recognition that for as long as we have our fleet of trucks moving across the country, we carry a joint duty and responsibility to support government in managing road congestion. We continuously think of ways to run our business efficiently and this includes how we get our product to customers safely and on time,” added Jika. Like most logistics companies that manage driver compliance, the company has installed speed governing devices in all its fleet and closely manages the speed profile of each truck. “We have a refined Speed Policy where all Speed Violations across different speed zones are addressed with corrective action taken against offenders” she added.Driver fatigue remains a real challenge, and to curb this, CCBSA has added a second driver to long distance shipments planned for service times greater than 12 hours, going beyond the legal allowance of 15 hours driving time for a single driver. To heed the minister and government’s call to move the transporting of products to customers from road to rail, CCBSA is working with the Department and other key stakeholders to make this a reality. “Discussions are currently underway with relevant government stakeholders. As a major road-user, we are committed to working alongside government in implementing its strategic plans to improve road safety and reduce congestion on our roads,” she concluded. — Supplied.