Polish trucker, mother aid Norway road safety campaign / News / The Foreigner

Polish trucker, mother aid Norway road safety campaign. ARTICLE/VIDEO: Norwegian authorities, unions, employers’ organisations, and road haulage sector staff front a winter driving conditions campaign aided by a Polish lorry driver and his mother. Those behind the initiative state that over 3,000 HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) cross the border into Norway each day. Many of these originate from Eastern Europe. WATCH THE VIDEO (AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE)

roads, safety, winter, trucks, lorries, driving, easterneurope, poland, paywall



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Polish trucker, mother aid Norway road safety campaign

Published on Monday, 14th November, 2016 at 13:50 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .

ARTICLE/VIDEO: Norwegian authorities, unions, employers’ organisations, and road haulage sector staff front a winter driving conditions campaign aided by a Polish lorry driver and his mother.

Lukasz Gorzynik's lorry on the road
Lukasz Gorzynik's lorry on the road
Photo: Geelmuyden Kiese/Bacon


Those behind the initiative state that over 3,000 HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) cross the border into Norway each day. Many of these originate from Eastern Europe.

WATCH THE VIDEO (AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE)

One of three lorry drivers on the roads in Norway is a foreign national. All drivers are obliged to be familiar with the regulations on Norwegian roads.

Eastern European lorry drivers have become significantly better equipped to negotiate the harsh Norwegian winter – the press release refers to figures published by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA), but does not give them.

At the same time, those behind the campaign also declare that many of these foreign lorry drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident. This due to them not being accustomed to Norway’s challenging driving conditions.

Foreign lorry drivers’ unawareness of their rights as employees, which means they are underpaid, is highlighted in the campaign as well.

Attempts at entering into a dialogue have proved to be fairly unsuccessful, according to Norwegian authorities.

“It has been a challenge for the authorities to get in touch with lorry drivers from Eastern Europe,” Ingrid Finboe Svendsen, director of the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (Arbeidstilsynet), says in a statement.

It was therefore decided to direct efforts away from the traditional public information highways, taking the scenic route instead in the hope of conveying matters more effectively.

This gave rise to the public awareness video called Mother Presents. It features Anna Gorzynik from Krosno in Poland accompanying her professional lorry-driving son, 33-year-old Lukasz, on one of his journeys through Norway.

“So we asked ourselves the question: ‘Who are they going to listen to?’” remarks Ms Svendsen.

Norway’s Labour Inspection Authority is one of 14 bodies behind the initiative.

“The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of working conditions in Norway and driving conditions on the Norwegian roads,” Ms Finboe Svendsen states. “It is also important to show foreign lorry drivers that the Norwegian authorities are trustworthy and dependable.”

A report by research organisation Fafo and the Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics shows that 14 per cent of road haulage firms operating in Norway have experienced accidents involving injury over the past 12 months, the press release states.

Moreover, there are approximately 35 per cent more fatalities per capita from road traffic accidents involving heavy goods vehicles in Norway.

“Foreign lorry drivers are important for Norway, and they are very welcome here on the Norwegian roads,” comments Ingrid Finboe Svendsen of the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority

“Nonetheless, Norway is a unique country with slippery, steep, winding and narrow roads. Lorry drivers must be well-prepared; if not, they risk finding themselves in dangerous situations on the road. Our hope is that this public awareness campaign will be of help to those foreign lorry drivers whose work brings them to Norway,” she concludes.

The idea of using a Polish lorry driver was hatched by Oslo-based advertising agency Geelmuyden Kiese, which handles The Authority’s communications account. Lukasz Gorzynik comes to Norway on a regular basis.

“Poland is main market they [those behind the public information campaign] want to reach out to,” Vivian Vestre, publishing manager at media partner Be On/AOL tells The Foreigner. “This is because that majority of truckers who come to Norway are Polish, so they can identify with them.”

She also explains that those who applied to star in the video were interviewed as part of the selection process.

“All of the candidates had to match certain criteria, such as being used to driving according to foreign rules and traffic laws outside of their home country – this was, in fact, the most important requirement,” comments Ms Vestre.

So why were Lukasz and his mother picked, then?

“They were the most charming; it was his mother who won them over.”


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Published on Monday, 14th November, 2016 at 13:50 under the news category, by Sarah Bostock and Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: roads, safety, winter, trucks, lorries, driving, easterneurope, poland, paywall.





  
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