Safety will always be the highest priority for our business.
Overall responsibility for safety sits with Dean Finch, Group Chief Executive, and our Divisional Managing Directors who set out annual plans and priorities for improved performance.
We have commented on the tragic incident in Chattanooga in the Chairman’s, the Group Chief Executive’s and the North America reviews of the year. These make clear our profound sorrow that such an accident should happen on one of our buses, that we have pledged our full support to the ongoing investigations and identified the actions we are already taking. We will learn any necessary lessons and implement any appropriate changes that the ongoing investigations identify.
Arthur D Little continues to act as our external safety adviser. Each year they undertake a review of our safety performance and systems and we have again included a summary written by them on the next page.
We use the Fatalities and Weighted Injuries (‘FWI’) as our key safety indicator. In 2016, as a result of the Chattanooga incident we scored 17.823, compared with 12.242 in 2015. Excluding Chattanooga, the FWI was 11.323, in a year when we carried more passengers and ran more services (see Figure 1 right). Figure 2 also illustrates our FWI alongside our significant increase in mileage as our business has grown, demonstrating we have consistently delivered significant reductions on this measure as well.
Three months after the tragic accident in Chattanooga, the regulatory authorities have not identified any faults in our maintenance systems, or the background screening, training or management of our driver.
The underlying reduction in FWI reflects the investment we have made in systems and training to reduce accidents. For example, Lytx DriveCam is now installed across the UK Coach fleet, and is being rolled out across UK Bus, ALSA and North America. This provides video evidence of how drivers are performing and it helps us to monitor individual driving behaviours and provide tailored training.
Our safety achievements have continued to be recognised by external bodies during 2016. We were pleased to be honoured with a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award which recognised our Driving Out Harm programme. The award was in the Safer Road Users category, particularly focusing on our work to reduce accidents in Morocco.
Another highlight was the award of the British Safety Council Sword of Honour to all three of our UK businesses: Bus, Coach and Rail – alongside them all achieving five-star ratings.
The members of each of our Divisional Boards and Group Executive continue to make safety tours, providing both assurance and the visible confirmation of the importance of safety in the Group. During 2016, 774 safety tours were made (2015: 653). We publish this figure annually as a demonstration of our commitment to safety.