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Road ambassadors for safety - Franco Azzopardi

Safety on our roads should never be discussed. Ideally, it should be taken for granted, upheld and respected. If it were, we wouldn’t be discussing it. However, unfortunate fatalities on the road are becoming too much of a regular occurrence and this is what has been pushing us as a company to advocate for more safety on our roads.

We were never the type to beat round the bush and we do acknowledge that as Malta’s leading transport and logistics operator, we have a heavy presence on the roads. Our tractor units, our trailers, our trucks and the rest of our fleet can be a nuisance to others. The situation is not bound to improve. As the population increases, so will importation and hence our operations and our fleet expand proportionately.

A few years ago, we started looking at ways how we could become an example to others by underlining a positive contribution to society in a direct way. We felt that the utmost attention had to be redirected towards the more vulnerable road users, namely pedestrians, motorcyclists and particularly, the increasing number of athletes who are using the road to train and compete.

Five years ago we started sponsoring several road-related sport events such as the annual Żurrieq Wolves half marathon and later, we supported triathlete David Galea as he trained on the road for his participation in the Kona Ironman world championships competition and more recently, we reached sponsorship agreements with the Mellieħa Athletic Club and Mosta Cycling Club.

Today, however, we want to do more because we believe that safety on the road should be a top priority for everyone, especially drivers who are being called to drive responsibly and protect the more vulnerable road users.

On the road, everyone is responsible, and therefore we are committing ourselves, through our team of drivers, to advocate more actively in favour of road safety on Malta’s roads. Our dedicated drivers own this initiative and pledge their dedication to be an example to all road users.

We are dedicated to a new road safety campaign which we want to turn into a national initiative driven by Express Trailers to promote more responsible road sharing. In fact, we are proud to launch this campaign in collaboration with Transport Malta and the Malta Road Safety Council.

The issue of safety on the road is a national one. Everyone is a road user, and everyone is being called to act responsibly

The objective of this campaign is to encourage road users to reflect on their habits, to understand that roads are a shared resource, that using the road is borrowing space, that other road users have the same equal rights as themselves, and that all this should increase tolerance for each other. Personally, I feel that as a company, Express Trailers has justly acquired an entitled responsibility to act as a flagbearer for this very important cause because we have always been highly committed to safety. After 60 years of operations and solid growth, the company enjoys a very positive track record and widespread respect as a responsible employer and road user.

The company invests heavily in safer fleets of vehicles, safer premises and safer processes for all its employees. But above all, we invest in the right people to become responsible drivers. We consciously transmit our differentiating qualities of our Orange brand and the culture it reflects. I take the opportunity to salute all our drivers whom I consider as our flag-bearing heroes on the road. Let us make no mistake about how tough their job is being on the road all day long whatever the weather and traffic conditions.

I make sure that they are constantly being commended not only for their dedication and pride in their job but also for the respect they show on our roads. Today, besides being our brand ambassadors, they are now being called to be ambassadors for road safety.

Although Express Trailers is fronting this campaign, in no way must this be limited to our people, drivers or employees.

This is a national campaign because the issue of safety on the road is a national one. Everyone is a road user, and therefore, everyone is being called to act responsibly on the road. On the road, we are all vulnerable and we can all contribute to each other’s safety

Our drivers are our foremost ambassadors on the road and we take safety extremely important. This campaign will be a celebration of this commitment.

For more details about the Road Safety campaign, visit www.expressroadsafety.com

Franco Azzopardi is chairman and CEO of Express Trailers.

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