The FINANCIAL — UPS announced the induction of 1,613 drivers into its elite “Circle of Honor,” raising to 8,703 the number of drivers who have not had an avoidable accident for 25 years or more.
Collectively, the 8,703 drivers have logged more than 5.3 billion miles and more than 245,000 years of safe driving through their careers. That’s enough miles to travel to Mars and back 19 times – or to circle the earth at the equator nearly 213,000 times.
The number of active Circle of Honor drivers is the most in company history and includes 53 new members from Canada, Germany and Puerto Rico. That includes Marlene Nazario, a package car driver from Mayaguez, Puerto Rico who is the first Latin American female driver to be inducted, according to UPS.
UPS’s top safe driver in 2016 is Livonia, Michigan, package car driver Tom Camp, who has now driven for more than half a century — 53 years — and delivered more than 5 million packages without an accident.
“Maintaining safe highways and roads is our highest priority, so I commend any person who achieves this milestone of 25 years or more crash-free, creating safer driving conditions for us all,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The achievements of this group of drivers are truly worth recognizing.”
Of all the Circle of Honor members, 514 have been accident-free for 35 or more years, with 68 of those having driven more than 40 years without an accident.
One of the 68 is Orlando tractor-trailer driver Ginny Odom, who in 2014 became the company’s first female driver to reach 40 years without an accident. As a single mom working in a traditional job role, Ginny’s accomplishment is a testament to her perseverance.
“I never thought I’d make it to 40 years without an accident,” said Odom. “But it shows you what you can accomplish if you work hard. And the company’s training and methods really work.”
This year, 50 new inductees are women and 21 additional women have joined the ranks of those with more than 30 years of safe driving. A total of 193 women are in the Circle of Honor.
UPS began recognizing its safe drivers in 1923. Founder Jim Casey honored the company’s first 5-year safe driver, Ray McCue, in 1928.
The company’s 102,000 drivers worldwide are among the safest on the roads, logging more than 3 billion miles per year and delivering more than 4 billion packages safely.
Before ever making a delivery, all UPS drivers are taught safe driving methods through the company’s defensive driving platform. The training continues throughout their careers. The company’s UPS Integrad training school for delivery drivers, and their Driver Trainer School (DTS) for tractor-trailer drivers feature the most rigorous safety training in the industry.
“Our drivers’ expertise behind the wheel has helped many avoid the life-changing impact of accidents,” said Teri McClure, chief human resources officer and senior vice president, global human resources and labor. “I salute their efforts and hope they serve as an example for all of us as to the importance of dedication and focus behind the wheel.”
UPS extends its safe driving expertise to the communities it serves through UPS Road Code® training, a teen safe driving program available in the United States and internationally. Taught by UPS volunteers and based on the company’s safe-driving methods, the program is available to teens between the ages of 13 and 18. To date, more than 22,900 teenagers have participated. The program has been extended to the UK, Canada, Germany and China, and UPS plans to expand the program into Mexico in April 2016.
UPS Road Code training is offered in the U.S. in conjunction with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and overseas in four countries with various youth development organizations $12.5 million in total UPS Road Code contributions from The UPS Foundation since the program’s inception.