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Scania invites heavy truck drivers all over Europe to drive safer

Scania is organising the biggest competition ever for heavy truck drivers in Europe in 2003. The competition is the first for heavy truck drivers to be organised in partnership with the European Commission. Participating as sponsors are Michelin, Shell and IRU (the International Road Transport Union). The focus is on road safety and fuel economy, as well as various aspects of precision manoeuvring, involving both theoretical and practical tests. The competition will run in a total of 20 European countries, including all current EU member states.

"Having the European Commission as a partner in this important campaign is extremely satisfying," comments Scania's Group Vice President Kaj Lindgren. "This is what we hoped for when the scheme was launched at Scania's road safety conference in Brussels in 2001. With this partnership and strong sponsors, I am confident that this competition will contribute to a safer traffic environment and greater awareness of safety issues among professional drivers in Europe."

In its White Paper 'European transport policy for 2010: time to decide', the Commission has set as a target for its road safety work to halve the number of people killed in road accidents in the European Union from around 40,000 today to 20,000 by 2010. Worst hit is the age group 14-25 year olds, for whom this is the prime cause of death. Targeting young truck drivers with a campaign for increased safety awareness is thus precisely in-line with the Commission's policy.

"The competition is targeting heavy truck drivers under the age of 30 as an investment in future road safety," Mr Lindgren continues. "Europe-wide, we expect a total of 30-35,000 drivers to participate, and we are confident that this will lead to fewer fatalities and fewer injured in accidents involving heavy vehicles in the years to come.

"Improved heavy vehicle road safety will also have several environmental implications. With fewer accidents, the environmental damage from lost and leaking loads will be reduced. Fewer accidents also mean more fluent traffic and further reduced emissions. A welcome effect is also that a safe driving style automatically saves fuel and reduces emissions," concludes Mr Lindgren.

The competition will start with local qualification rounds organised at local proving grounds or at Scania dealer premises during spring 2003. The best drivers in each country will compete in national finals during the summer. The European final for the best drivers from all 20 countries will be held in Sweden in September 2003.

'The role of the driver' and the Young European Truck Driver competition will be two of the highlights at the Scania Road Safety Conference in Brussels in October 2003.

For further information, please contact:

- Magnus Hahn, Business Communications, tel. +46 8 55383510.

- Mikael Friis, Project Manager, tel. +45 40155192, e-mail