Eric Richardson, deputy chief fleet officer for the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), won the 2023 Fleet Safety Award. Richardson accepted the award at the 2023 Fleet Safety Conference, convened in conjunction with the Fleet Forward Conference in Santa Clara, California on Nov. 10.
The award, presented by Automotive Fleet and sponsored by the American Automotive Leasing Association (AALA), is bestowed annually to a fleet or risk manager whose leadership and innovation have enhanced the safety of fleet drivers, their organizations, and the public.
The award comes with a $1,000 scholarship from AALA that the winner can retain or designate as desired. Richardson has indicated he will donate the scholarship to a road safety organization in recognition of the work that Richardson, DCAS, and NYC Fleet are doing to save lives.
Richardson continues to be actively involved in numerous safety initiatives for the city. He has helped to manage:
- The release of citywide safe fleet transition plans for city vehicles.
- The implementation of the Truck of the Future pilot program with the Parks Department and Department of Environmental Protection.
- The launch of the first citywide pilot of intelligent speed assistance, which includes the application for a Safe Streets for All grant to expand the pilot to 7,500 vehicles in the city fleet.
- Crafting the rules for the implementation of truck sideguards for city contracts.
Richardson also organized the Vision Zero Fleet Safety Forum with Peter Goldwasser from Together for Safer Roads. The event took place on Nov. 2 and brought almost 500 attendees to Queens.
Citing NYC Fleet’s Accomplishments
“Using telematics, live alerts, and reporting we have been able to focus our safety efforts on the specific vehicles that contribute to high- or medium-risk driving,” he said. “This includes a monthly safety scorecard that goes out to 55 agency commissioners and the owners of every school bus company showing the categorization of each vehicle and the specific items of risky behaviors.”
Richardson named cities like Chicago and Boston, which have followed suit with New York and have experienced similar progress in improving fleet.
Richardson cited that in the span of five years, they have seen a 30% decrease in preventable collisions in the city and a 20% reduction in high- and medium-duty risk drivers in the last six months.
Looking ahead, Richardson said that he and his team wish to expand the use of technology to include cab driver alerts, surround cameras, sensors, telematics, and external turning alerts using AI to track collisions, as well as near misses.
“We also believe that our pilot program of intelligent speed assist can move that technology similar to how we have moved on sideguards,” he said. “Of the vehicles with ISA, we have seen a 99% compliance to the speed limit we set on the vehicles and a 35% reduction in harsh braking.”
Concluding his speech, Richardson directed attention to all those in NYC who work on road safety of all kinds.
“Our NYC Vision Zero Task Force is a beacon to others on how various stakeholders in each area of the Safe System approach to road safety can collaborate, share best practices, and lean on each other when we sadly see people still dying on our roads.”
Award Runner Up & Finalists
The AALA fleet member companies initiate the nominating process by submitting candidates who they feel best meet the award qualifications. Self-nominations from individuals and companies are also accepted.
AALA’s fleet management executives review the nominees and choose the winner.
The judges cited Mike Duffy, director, Traffic Operations Laboratory & Facilities Management Transportation Operation and Brian Park, fleet manager at the University of Virginia as runner-ups.
The 2023 finalists are (in no order):
- Agus Rijal, Road Safety, Medco Energi, Province of Aceh, Indonesia
- Andres Dominguez, fleet safety coordinator, Federal Maintenance Services, Stafford
- Jermaine Woodall, utilities and fleet services manager, Port of Long Beach
- Katie Franssen & Sharon Etherington, SHE leader & fleet manager, Roche Diagnostics
- Michael Wagner, director of company operations, Designscapes Colorado
- Oscar Tovar, transportation administrator, Dallas County Health & Human Services,
- Tatiyana Vollhardt, director of safety & compliance, Transportation Concepts Inc. Commerce
- Terrance York, division manager, Fleet Management Department, City of Houston
- Andres Dominguez, fleet safety coordinator, Federal Maintenance Services
- Cayla Gutierrez, fleet manager, RS&H
- Matt Rademacher, administrator/corp. fleet management, Southwest Gas Corp.
- Jose Guzman, shop manager, Dallas County
- Tyler Teter, assistant vice president fleet, Safelite
- Marc Guild, EHS&S center of expertise competency leader, Corteva Agriscience