Volvo talks safety in Europe

The panel, from left to right:  president and CEO of the Volvo Group Leif Johansson, Ines Ayala Sender, MEP, Transport Committee, European Parliament; Keir Fitch, deputy head of Cabinet; Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), Etienne Schouppe, state secretary for Mobility, Belgium.

At the European Transport Forum 2010, attended by 150 senior officials from the European Commission and other prominent stakeholders concerned with transport in Europe, President and CEO of the Volvo Group, Leif Johansson, stressed the importance of cooperation between industry and legislators to improve European transport safety.

The European Transport forum, held in Brussels, is an important debating platform allowing senior officials and legislators to discuss transport issues in Europe.

Leif Johansson, President and CEO of the Volvo Group, spoke as part of a live panel debate, involving some of Europe’s top transport officials including European Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas. On the agenda was the European Road Safety Action Program 2011-2020, to be launched soon, which sets targets for reducing road deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads.

“Safety is a shared responsibility,” said Leif Johansson during the debate. “I’m not saying that ‘it’s not our responsibility’, I am saying that it is all of our responsibilities. The EU has the responsibility to implement safety policy in Europe and we have the responsibility to make our vehicles and construction equipment safe in operation.”

During the debate, Leif Johansson, President and CEO of the Volvo Group, said safety is a “shared responsibility.”

Reducing road accidents
EU Transport Commissioner and Commission Vice-President, Siim Kallas, opened the debate by outlining the program’s goals. “Approximately 35,000 road accidents happen each year in Europe and we want to reduce this by 50%,” he said.
 
Volvo gets involved
One of the other areas on Volvo’s agenda was how smart technology from industry is contributing to road safety, particularly concerning alcohol, visibility and speed – some of the key causes of accidents.

On the debate
Commenting on the debate Leif Johansson said the Volvo Group has a duty to contribute to decisions that affect its customers. “It’s good for Volvo as a group to contribute to the debate of society and I think we have a very natural place to do that,” he said. “Our forefathers presented us with quality, safety and environmental care and those three core values make us an important partner in this dialogue. We want to get things done and the best way to get things done is to engage in dialogue like this.”

Construction and safety
As a major player in road construction across Europe and the world, Volvo Construction Equipment is active in promoting safety. Discussed during the forum was how campaigns can prevent accidents. Circulated at the event were details of Volvo Construction Equipment’s safety campaign, which aims to tackle safety in the construction industry.

The forum was attended by 150 senior officials from the European Commission and other prominent stakeholders concerned with transport in Europe.

Volvo Construction Equipment wants to place itself at the centre of the industry’s debate on safety, with an international campaign to deliver safety messages to contractors and operators around the world. The campaign also included the distribution of 140,000 high visibility safety vests to operators working in construction-related areas.

“Campaigns, such as these, are incredibly important,” said Leif Johansson in an interview after the debate. “Our customers understand that accidents happen, but campaigns need to be run to show how they can be prevented. If you walk out on a dark grey morning on a construction site without wearing your safety vest, it’s like not wearing your safety belt when you’re in the car driving to that construction site. Volvo has a responsibility to promote safety to our customers.”

A special safety issue of Spirit magazine was handed out at the forum.

Ends.

October, 2010
Text: Clare Gittins

Picture 1: The panel, from left to right:  president and CEO of the Volvo Group Leif Johansson, Ines Ayala Sender, MEP, Transport Committee, European Parliament; Keir Fitch, deputy head of Cabinet; Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), Etienne Schouppe, state secretary for Mobility, Belgium.
Picture 2: During the debate, Leif Johansson, President and CEO of the Volvo Group, said safety is a “shared responsibility.”
Picture 3: The forum was attended by 150 senior officials from the European Commission and other prominent stakeholders concerned with transport in Europe.
Picture 4: A special safety issue of Spirit magazine was handed out at the forum.

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For further information on the Volvo Construction Equipment safety campaign, please visit: www.volvoce.com/press.

Or contact:

Bill Law
Director, External Communications
Volvo Construction Equipment
Tel: int + 32 478 92 43 26
Email: bill.law@volvo.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/VolvoCEMedia

Brian O’Sullivan
SE10
London
Tel: int +44 77 333 50307
Email: osullivan@se10.com