We can’t emphasize the importance of safety enough. With safety at the heart of everything we do, RATP Dev developed drive2zero™,  a Safety Management System (SMS) that creates an unparalleled safety culture for our customers and employees. drive2zero™ addresses and reduces risk in our operations and is FTA compliant. It is comprised of four components: safety policy, risk management, safety assurance and safety promotion.

Our operating systems are seeing positive results from this proactive, predictive approach to safety compliance. Just ask Chris White, Safety and Training Manager at Roadrunner. Chris oversees 113 vehicles and 350 drivers, and last year his vehicles traveled almost 7 million miles! His team recently implemented drive2zero™ and couldn’t be more pleased with the results. 


RATP Dev: It’s the nature of business – incidents happen. Can you tell us about the specific safety challenges Roadrunner faced?

C.W.: The biggest challenge we faced was developing an effective safety culture that our employees could participate in across the entire organization. In the past, Roadrunner’s focus was on safety in day to day Operations. This made it difficult for our Safety Team to make effective changes, creating an environment in which our Operators were not aligned with the broader initiatives of the organization. In addition, by focusing so much on the present, is was difficult to proactively prepare for the future. We recognized that if we wanted to make real change at Roadrunner, we needed 100% participation from every employee. I am happy to say that we are moving in the right direction.

RATP Dev: What are the benefits of taking imminent action to implement this comprehensive solution?

C.W.: drive2zero™ takes safety management to the next level. It not only incorporates the industry standard for SMS, it goes a step further -- utilizing technology to help provide a real-time, straightforward picture of potential risks, thereby enabling us to be more proactive in our risk management. Most importantly it’s a behavior that helps put safety at the forefront of everyone’s mind. It is a process that allows us to focus on incidents before they occur.

RATP Dev: When did you implement drive2zero™? Was it difficult? 

C.W.:  It was not difficult at all. Patrick Manley [Vice President, Safety and Training at RATP Dev USA] was here in July of 2018 and we officially went live in August 2018. Patrick showed us how successful this program could be, providing use cases and an easy step-by-step path forward. We were ready to embrace a positive change. It reinvigorated me! 

drive2zero™ allowed us to look at safety in a different way and be excited about positive changes that could truly impact people’s lives.

RATP Dev: Which level of SMS is Roadrunner currently implementing? (There are 4 stages of drive2zero™.)

C.W.: SMS Level 1, which involves documenting and designing the program at the local level, so the program can go live appropriately.

RATP Dev: What changes did you notice once you began implementation?

C.W.: The biggest change came from the Safety Team. Through implementing drive2zero™, we developed a whole new approach on how to analyze risk and put mitigating processes in place. We now have a more detailed post-accident investigation process. We don’t just focus on whether the accident was preventable. Rather, we look for root causes. I spend more of my time now on accident prevention and less on accident investigation. And it is paying off. We have seen an 18.4% reduction in the number of preventable accidents at Roadrunner since this time last year.

RATP Dev: How has the team at Roadrunner embraced drive2zero™ so far?

C.W.: Overall, our employees are very much on board with drive2zero™ and our new safety policy at a broader level. Through active participation in a new culture, we are earning our employees trust and promoting positivity.

RATP Dev: drive2zeroTM highlights the need for an interconnected safety cycle, making sure each component ties with the internal and external environment. Who will be affected by the implementation of such a solution? 

C.W.: Let me answer this with a hypothetical scenario. Assume you’re at a 4-way stop and you have the right of way, but another driver runs the stop sign almost hitting you. You pause. You make sure everyone is ok, compose yourself, and go about your day. But you don’t report the near-miss. For you, it was just a one-off. What you don’t know is that several other drivers have reported similar issues at that same intersection and if we collect that data, we can share it with the City, explain what’s happening, and suggest a solution like installing a stop light for that intersection. If the City installs a light, not only did we make that intersection safer for our drivers and our passengers (from an internal perspective), but we made it safer for the entire community (external perspective). That is the power of drive2zero™, it truly impacts the entire transit environment. 

RATP Dev:  What results do you hope to see after 100% implementation of the SMS framework?

C.W.: Our current Accident Frequency Rate (AFR) is good and continues to decrease. I have set a goal for 2019 to reduce our current rate by 30%. We will continue to set performance goals for our employees. I am excited to utilize the full potential of drive2zero™. We have seen what is possible and I know that we are on the right track to making a positive difference in the lives of everyone we encounter.

RATP Dev: Thanks for the insight, Chris and the Roadrunner Safety Team!

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