Road Safety Standards ISO 39001:2012

South Africa currently features in the top 50 countries with the highest road accident mortality rate. Organisations and their stakeholders carrying out activities on the South African roads have the responsibility to follow and implement the correct standards and procedures – not only to ensure their staff’s safety but also the safety of others on the road. One of the best ways to do this is through ISO 39001:2012.

What is ISO 39001:2012?

In South Africa, road traffic collisions and other incidents are truly a pandemic, intolerably damaging our social, natural and economic environments. Stemming from the UN General Assembly proclamation of 2011 – 2020 as the Decade of Action for Road Safety, ISO released the ISO 39001 Road Traffic Safety management system standard in 2012. Developed with contributions by experts representing 40 countries, the International Standards provide requirements and guidelines for a formal RTSms.

More information on South Africa’s involvement with a Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011 – 2020 can be found at the following link: 


WHO NEEDS ISO 39001:2012?

The system assists all road related stakeholders to manage the risk exposure they incur as a result of their interaction with road traffic.

To name a few, the following types of organisation would need ISO 39001:2012:

  • Organisations that design, build or manage road networks and infrastructures
  • Organisations using the roads
  • Vehicle fleet operators (public or private)
  • Transport services such as postal services / couriers or suppliers
  • Organisations that provide installation, technical assistance and maintenance
  • Emergency services
  • Generators of road traffic such as schools, hospitals, malls, sport complexes or event locations
  • Organisations that have a high number of staff
  • Airports
  • Tourists sites
  • Organisations that manage parking areas and multi story car parks
  • Engineers/ Architects
  • Constructions companies

How can ISO 39001:2012 benefit my organisation?

Designed with the aim of reducing death and serious injury due to road accidents, ISO 39001 provides the most up to date and highest quality of requirements for safety aspects, including speed, vehicle condition and driver awareness.

Feedback from our clients indicate that benefits also include:

  • Increased evidence of social contribution, as demanded by sustainability reporting;
  • A reduction in economic, social and environmental road use related damage and cost; and
  • Proof that directors are applying their mind to enterprise-wide risk, including Road Safety and a reduction in potential brand damage associated with product delivery.

Another great factor about the ISO 39001:2012 system is that it incorporates the ISO 9001 standards of Quality Management, which includes the PDCA cycle (plan, do, check, act) which ensures continual improvement. You can read our article here about the ISO 9001 system: https://www.riskza.com/2017/07/18/time-make-change-breakdown-iso-90012015/

How can I implement it in my organisation?

Risk ZA offers training for the Introduction, Developing and Auditing of ISO 39001:2012. Because ISO 39001:2012 was developed according to the ISO High Level Structure, this training course focuses on the conformance and performance of the organisations arrangements and controls. In addition to introducing the principles and elements of Road Transport Management and Road Traffic Safety Management Systems. The course also covers the development and implementation of the system and internal and supplier auditing. The course includes the process and systems management principles, and advocates a risk-based approach, allowing for easy integration with existing arrangements and complementing existing initiatives.

Benefits of the course:

  • Delegates understand the benefits and requirements of a RTSms
  • Better equips the organisation to manage its risk, arising from road transport
  • By developing, implementing and auditing a formal RTSms, an organisation can self-regulate, provide stakeholder assurance and ensure the responsibility of its supply chain
  • Will directly reduce economic, social and environmental road use related costs and damage.

Content in the course:

  • Overview and requirements of ISO 39001:2012
  • Introduction and benefits of a RTSms
  • Principles and requirements of Road Transport Management Systems (RTMS)
  • Principles of the process and systems approach to management
  • Documentation controls and records; RTS Risk Management
  • Audit techniques based on ISO 19011
  • Four phases of the audit
  • Continual improvement.

This course will allow an organisation to improve its road traffic performance and comply with international best practices. In addition to this comprehensive course, Risk ZA also offers shorter, bespoke onsite courses, configurable to client requirements. Other courses include Management Introduction (1 Day), Shopfloor Awareness (Zulu/Eng), and specific RTS and RTMS courses. Risk ZA also offer GAP Analysis, System Implementation, and third-party auditing consultancy services.

Take away points:

Remember that self-regulation saves lives, money, and environmental degradation and is at the heart of good corporate governance. Although demanded by legislation, in particular for public entities and members of the JSE, self-regulation appears to remain prudent for road traffic safety.

A number of years have passed and our roads continue to claim lives every day. The question remains: what are YOU, as an organisation, doing to contribute to safer roads?

To discuss what will work best for your organisation, contact Risk ZA:

0861 Risk ZA  |  +27 (0) 31 569 5900  |  info@riskza.com

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