2020 has been quite the year so far. Who would have thought the world would shut down for almost four months because of a virus? Yet here we are, still under some restrictions and learning to live with the new normal.
For our members, COVID-19 is yet another crisis thrown at us over the last several years. This industry and the people who work in oil and gas are resilient, adaptable, and committed community members. We have seen our members face the challenges of lockdown with compassion and conviction, with a focus on safety, while continuing to provide a critical service to our country that will be instrumental in our economic recovery from COVID-19.
The Coalition shifted priorities and strategies early in the pandemic, which included lowering expenditures while focusing on value-add community engagement and technical initiatives. The energy industry and our members are leaders in road safety. Organizations invest a great deal of money, energy, and planning to keep employees and communities safe while on the road.
With the announcements of economic stimulus infrastructure projects for Highways 43 and 881 and the Highway 40 twinning project, we have an opportunity to take a leadership role in shifting the driving culture to one of shared and collective responsibility for safer highways. We have an opportunity to work more closely together sharing internal best practices and strategies that have been successful at changing driving behaviour. We believe in collaboration and have seen the positive impact that sharing knowledge and information can have on industry. We have a BIG goal at the Coalition—we want to become the COSIA of road safety. (The Canadian Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is an alliance of oil sands companies working with scientists, academics, and innovators to make Canadian energy part of a sustainable environment.)
One of the key priorities we are working on is the development of a Road Traffic Safety Plan Guide. Using ISO 39001 RTS (Road Traffic Safety) standards, Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) Land Transportation Recommended Practices, and member expertise, we want to bring the wealth of experience and knowledge from members and the industry into a comprehensive, easy to use guide. At the same time, we are looking for further ways to leverage the ISO Road Traffic Safety technical training I completed to bring greater value to members.
We continue to foster community engagement with our Holiday Heroes initiative, (shout out to Shell, who is sponsoring our Holiday Heroes program in September), our social media presence, and securing a partnership with Kal Tire in Fort McMurray for our Get a Grip on Winter campaign. As things evolve with the pandemic, we are prepared and ready to increase our community presence.
We know the road ahead will not be an easy one, but we are well-positioned to continue to build on our progress. This work is impossible without you, our members. We need to continue to grow our Coalition family. We are asking that you continue to be involved with the Coalition and encourage others to join. We know that with our members we can meet our vision of reducing traffic fatalities to zero.
Please share this newsletter, visit our website to learn more, or view our Reasons to Join video below.
– Debbie Hammond, Executive Director, Coalition for Safer Alberta Roads