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Record high interest in road safety – Young European Truck Driver attracts 13,000 entries

Scania’s Young European Truck Driver road safety competition has attracted 13,000 entries – twice as many as the last competition in 2003.

”This upsurge in interest is not due entirely to the fact that first prize is a new Scania R series truck. It is also an expression of the growing involvement of the haulage sector in road safety issues,” comments Cecilia Edström, Head of Corporate Relations at Scania.

Designed for all professional drivers of heavy trucks born in 1970 or later, the Young European Truck Driver competition is the biggest of its type in the world. Drivers from the EU member states, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey are eligible to enter. 

Scania organises the Young European Truck Driver competition with the support of the European Commission and IRU (International Road Transport Union), with Michelin and Shell as sponsors.

With its commitment to young drivers, Scania aims is to contribute to the European Union’s goal of halving the number of traffic fatalities between now and 2010. In 2003, almost 50,000 people died in road accidents in the EU’s 25 member states. 

“In addition, we also want to boost the driver’s status and enhance the driver’s important role in traffic safety and in the haulage company’s profitability”, says Cecilia Edström.

The competition includes elements such as precision manoeuvring and fuel-efficient driving, as well as theoretical tests on driving regulations and safety issues. The competition rules are based on the European Commission’s new directive on driver training. The purpose of the new directive is to introduce professional training that will focus on the demands of safe driving and improve safety standards among drivers, benefiting not just the community, but the transport sector itself.

Regional qualification rounds and national finals have been under way since the spring and will continue until the beginning of September. The national winners will compete for overall victory in Sweden on 16-17 September. They will also meet European Champion Michele Sandri of Italy, who won the competition in 2003.

Scania is undertaking similar road safety initiatives in Asia, South Africa and South America in parallel with Young European Truck Driver 2005.

For further information, please contact:

Hans-Åke Danielsson, Press Manager, tel. +46-8-553 856 62

Scania is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks and buses for heavy transport applications, and of industrial and marine engines. A growing proportion of the company’s operations is comprised of products and services in the financial and service sectors, assuring Scania customers of cost-effective transport solutions and maximum uptime. Employing 30,000 people, Scania operates in about 100 countries. Research and development activities are concentrated in Sweden, while production plants are located in Europe and South America, with facilities for the global exchange of both components and finished vehicles. In 2004, invoiced sales totalled SEK56.7 billion and net income amounted to SEK4.1 billion.

[N5034EN] Hans-Åke Danielsson