On October 23, 2014 DCAS and DOT hosted the first Vision Zero Fleets Forum at the Queens Theatre in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Over 350 people participated representing private fleets, equipment suppliers, state and city agencies, non-profits, labor unions, and academia. DCAS Commissioner Stacey Cumberbatch welcomed the audience, thanking them for their support of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan to end pedestrian and driver fatalities in New York City. She especially recognized the students and staff from the NYC Automotive High Schools who participated in the forum.
An impressive slate of speakers discussed safety from a wide variety of perspectives. Juan Martinez, Director of Strategic Initiatives at DOT, presented on the citywide Vision Zero plan. DCAS also presented on the City Fleet initiatives that are underway and the results of a safety survey of 51 fleets conducted for the forum.
Mike Derrig, Fleet Director at Fresh Direct, discussed the major improvements they had achieved in vehicle safety through telematics and fleet tracking. David May, 2008 American Truck Association Truck Driver of the Year, discussed the critical need to engage and partner with drivers to achieve safer results. David Biderman, Vice President of the National Waste and Recycling Association, announced the NY waste industry’s official endorsement of Vision Zero and a publicity campaign they are launching. Walter Orlowski, Safety Officer for NYC Transit, stressed the need to update and refresh training approaches, while Ken Jack, VP of Fleet Operations for Verizon, focused on the role of rigorous analysis and assessment to determine which safety strategies and investments really work.
PHD Alexander Epstein of the Volpe Center at US DOT discussed the results of a report on truck side guards con-ducted in partnership with DCAS and the City. Kendra Hems, President of the NY State Motor Trucking Association, presented on some of the major initiatives happening state-wide to address safety and led a panel on emerging trends. Noah Budnick, Deputy Director of Transportation Alternatives, discussed the history and development of the Vision Zero initiative in NYC, while Joseph Dack of HDR Transportation introduced driver and fleet recognition and safety initiatives that have been effective especially in London. Finally, Jamyn Edis, CEO of Dash Labs and Professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, provided a glimpse into the future potential of information technology and networks to increase safety on the roads.
Major thanks to the Queens Theatre for hosting the event and for the support of Parks. Also, many thanks to Mahanth Joishy and Sherry Lee of Fleet for organizing the forum, and to everyone who attended.