Netstar, a subsidiary of JSE-listed technology company Altron, is using data in a real-life manner to improve road safety at the Putco driver training academy.
Putco management took a decision to involve Netstar to help implement a range of initiatives aimed at increasing safety and reducing accidents involving its buses, especially along the notoriously dangerous R573 Moloto Corridor. These initiatives follow meetings between Putco and the transport MECs Jacob Mamabolo (Gauteng) as well as MEC Gillion Mashego (Mpumalanga).
The Moloto Corridor stretches over 160km and spans three provinces – Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo – used by over 60,000 commuters daily.
Putco Managing Director, Franco Pisapia, has committed to Advanced Driver Training, aimed at improving driving competency. The training will take place at Armscor’s Gerotek facility. So far, 20 Putco drivers from Tshwane and Mpumalanga have undertaken the training, with more to follow.
“Netstar has been working with Putco for three years, taking it on a fleet management journey, which kicked off with the installation of telematics systems to provide data on driver and passenger behaviour, with a view to enable Putco to gain a better view of its fleet,” said Shaun Brashaw, Netstar Global Executive.
The relationship has evolved to the point where the data is being mined, and used as part of the driver training curriculum. “The Netstar fleet management solution offers features including driver behaviour, incident escalation, and digital inspection. The data we collect from the devices provides insights into aspects such as over-idling, speeding, extreme braking, and harsh acceleration, which can be used as a training tool for improved driver training.
“Netstar is about making technology relevant and doing good business while doing good. This road safety initiative does exactly that as it is a real manifestation of how data can be analysed and translated into real time benefits,” said Brashaw.
Other interventions include: road safety information sessions for drivers by officials from the Road Traffic Infringement Agency and the Road Traffic Management Corporation, which were completed in early December.
In addition, 300 drivers operating along the Moloto Corridor have received a Defensive Driver Training Safety presentation, by a senior instructor from Gerotek.
“Putco and Gerotek are both accredited driver training providers and have signed a Letter of Intent to enter into a partnership to establish an accredited driver training academy, which will service the post-licence driver training needs of the industry, ensure adherence to the norms and standards of driver training and enhance advanced driver training to the benefit of the industry,” said Pisapia.
“One accident is one too many and we support all efforts to reduce the carnage on our roads,” said Brashaw.