Madison Fleet in New York's 6th Annual Vision Zero Fleet Safety Forum
by David Coy, Fleet Data Analyst
On October 31st, 2019, City of Madison Fleet Service participated in New York City’s 6th Annual Vision Zero Fleet Safety Forum held at Queens Theatre in the Park. Fleet Superintendent Mahanth Joishy and Fleet Data Analyst David Coy represented Madison, joining over 400 audience members and speakers from across North America who work in various aspects of fleet and traffic safety for non-profits, governments, academia, and the private sector.
Vision Zero is a multinational traffic safety program that strives for zero fatalities or serious injuries on the road. Mahanth took part in a panel discussion on Vision Zero fleet initiatives alongside Together for Safer Roads President David Braunstein, NYC Fleet Deputy Commissioner & Chief Fleet Officer Keith Kerman, City of Houston Deputy Assistant Fleet Manager Marchelle Cain, City Harvest Managing Director, Supply Chain & Transportation Michael Fowles, and Geotab Government Business Development Manager Marsilano Bilatos.
Panel topics included Vision Zero’s numerous challenges in implementation and success, managing multi-modal transportation at local and global levels, developments in the automotive industry and related technology, and things to consider when starting a Vision Zero program. The panelists also addressed audience questions related to the future of vehicles, including debunking the myth of electric vehicles being more dangerous than gasoline or diesel vehicles. Another topic of conversation was leveraging GPS and telematics to enhance safety on the road.
Besides the Vision Zero fleet initiatives panel, there was a lively presentation by Rich Cerezo, Director of Safety & Probation at New York City MTA. Cerezo presented several jarring bus collision videos and an innovative approach to more impactful training sessions for bus drivers attending for the 3rd or 4th times. Dr. Alex Epstein and Michael Chang of the US DOT Volpe Center gave a talk on heavy duty vehicle technology updates. Studies prove that minor small changes, like adding sideguards to heavy duty trucks, removing small bug guards from the hood, and driver alert systems will result in fatality reduction while improving the driver’s field of vision. Additionally, Rich Conroy, Director of Education – Bike New York, gave a presentation regarding the importance of bicycle training to save lives. He showed how training bicyclists leads to better decision-making to protect themselves each day.
In addition to all the different approaches to improve safety, the audience heard from organizations that support Vision Zero, such as the influential community non-profits Transportation Alternatives and Families for Safe Streets. From the latter, Lauren Pine shared her experience of the time she was struck by a private waste collection vehicle while riding her bike and the effect the serious injuries have had on her life. This was a powerful message and a reminder to all why traffic safety matters.
For a full agenda of the Vision Zero Fleet Safety Forum 2019, please visit their website.
As a growing city with a significant pedestrian and bicyclist population, traffic safety is a major topic for the City of Madison too. The City of New York is a leading Vision Zero organization in North America with numerous strong partnerships. Learning what has worked there and in other Vision Zero communities can be of great benefit to Madison. Fleet is already using some of the things we learned during the forum with the goal of making Madison an even safer city. A number of stakeholders are working toward the goal of making Madison a chartered Vision Zero city in 2020. Safety is a team effort and will require all of us to work together.
To learn more about Vision Zero, please visit the Vision Zero Network website.