Any new initiative designed to save lives will be welcomed by all in the transport industry.
A new introduction from the Irish Tyre Industry Association (ITIA) was announced recently. The REACT initiative (Roadside Emergency Action Concerning Tyres) is aimed towards those doing repairs and fitting tyres to HGVs on the side of the road. The concept is to try and keep them safe and reduce the incidents of injury and deaths on the road.
Technicians will be invited to spend a day training in best practice around these activities and on completion they will be given a REACT card to prove their accreditation. There would be re-training days every five years to ensure the relevancy of the certification. The ITIA are encouraging the powers that be to try to introduce this accreditation to become mandatory for all roadside fitters of tyres.
A similar scheme was introduced in the UK some years ago to great success and it is hoped that a similar positive situation will be seen in Ireland.
The Chief Executive of the ITIA, Donal Dempsey was reported to have said: ‘Research suggests that a quarter of HGV breakdowns on motorways are tyre related. Working on the roadside is one of the most dangerous environments facing tyre technicians, where dangers from passing traffic are often compounded by adverse weather conditions. The ITIA believes professional training is required to ensure the safety of these technicians. We would like to see this training become mandatory to the point where a break-down vehicle could be removed from the roadside by the NRA or Gardai for not having a valid REACT Card.’
With proper additional training the technicians will be able to ensure they can make the area safe while they are working. They will also be brought through the proper use of equipment and safety wear and a planning and risk assessment section will ensure best practice.
The introduction of such a powerful and practical initiative will be welcomed by all our industry sector. Not only will it raise the standard of repairs it will also safeguard the people performing such vital tasks on our roads, keeping our fleets running.