Drivers awarded for collision-free years
CAMBRIDGE, Ont. – On Saturday night, drivers who collectively have 230 years of collision-free years behind the wheel were honoured for their perfect records.
The Kitchener & District Driver Awards Banquet, held in Cambridge, Ontario, was held to celebrate the accomplishments of drivers who work for three companies: Erb Transport, Home Hardware Stores Ltd., and the Rothsay division of Darling International.
Donald R Danbrook, Driver Awards committee member, hosted the evening’s ceremony, and during his opening remarks, he spoke about the changing nature of the job, and about the professionalism of the drivers.
“Ontario remains the safest jurisdiction with regards to collisions and fatalities per 100,000 people and that’s because of folks like you out there that make the roads safer,” he said.
“We all know the workplace has changed significantly over the years. It seems that the attitude was that injuries and collisions were just part of doing business. I come from an era where that seemed to be the attitude. That has changed. We all know that governments and enforcement agencies, the insurance industry, your employers, your peers and even the general public, are saying that roadway and workplace injuries and fatalities are not acceptable. Not even one. Greater steps are continually being taken by everyone to reach that goal of injury-free, fatality-free and collision-free. That’s what every employer wants and certainly every worker wants: zero injuries, zero collisions and zero fatalities.
“The question is: is it an impossible goal? I would say if you asked that question even ten years ago, a lot of people would have said, ‘that will never happen.’ But you know what, over the years—and I’ve worked in the industry for a lot of years, including in the injury-prevention side as well—and every year you’re seeing more and more companies and organizations, and not just in Ontario, but across the countryside, that are achieving some of these very lofty goals, in all modes of industry, so the goal can be achieved. It doesn’t just happen by chance. It’s planned and it’s organized and it happens as a result of much time and effort from everyone. Better new work orientation, better specialized training, better equipment and most of all, a greater commitment towards creating a safer work environment by everyone. No-one wants to be a statistic. Everyone wants to be a winner, and everyone wants to work for a winner. So to be a winner and work on a winning team, it takes effort and commitment from all of us, because we all have a part to play on that road to zero.”
In total, a dozen drivers were named as recipients of special awards for 2014 for reaching milestones in the number of years they have been driving without a crash. The award winners were:
Barry McBeth, Rothsay
Henry Maier, Erb
Gregory Storey, Home Hardware (not present)
Robert Poole, Home Hardware
Chris Kauth, Rothsay,
Jeff Lambkin, Erb
Dale Haves, Erb
Mike Wirth, Erb
Carl Jantzi, Erb (not present)
Roger Zehr, Erb
Jeff Snider, Home Hardware (not present)
Wayne Jantzi, Home Hardware
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I commend these drivers for their remarkable records of safety.
But does the award really mean NO collisions, even if they are not the driver’s fault?
I ask this because I came across the aftermath of a terrible accident on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson last Friday. A wastbound Ford pickup suffered a blowout, causing it to cross over the wide dirt median strip, and smash into the side of an Eastbound truck’s cab, slightly injuring the driver and jacknifing the trailer. The driver of the pickup survived with serious injuries, but five members of his family, including three children, were killed.
Needless to say, the truck driver was distraught — and there was nothing he could have done to avoid the crash. Will this accident cause him to be disqualified for a perfect driving record award? I hope not.
Be safe out there, ladies and gentlemen — the roads are dangerous.
Coming across any collision leaves an impression in all our minds and when it is serious, the images stay with us for a long time. The drivers mentioned above received their awards as a result of being free of any Peventable Collision for an entire year. In this case it was the year ending 2013. The companies in attendance are members of the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (www.ihsa.ca) Driver Award program which has stringent guidelines regarding Preventable & Non-Preventable Collisions. All members of the program are charged with ensuring program integrity and fairness among drivers within the industry.