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Toyota, Australia's leading manufacturer, importer and exporter of cars has launched a new phase of its driver safety program for its 4,700 employees and their family and friends.

The Toyota Safe Driving Program: Looking Out For You has been developed to help Toyota employees and their family and friends recognise risky driving behaviour and take action to improve their safety.

The campaign features employee driver training, the latest edition of Toyota's Safe Driving Handbook and changes to the company's vehicle insurance excess and traffic infringement processing fees.

Toyota Australia Company Fleet Business Manager Sam Rigopoulos said the program would give employees the knowledge and skills as well as a cost incentive to arrive safely at work or home everyday.

"There are almost 5,000 Toyota owned vehicles on Australia's roads and as the nation's number one automotive company, Toyota must lead the community in safe driving behaviour," Mr Rigopoulos said.

"Toyota Australia launched the Looking Out For You driver safety program in 2008. After some early improvement in accident rates, no further significant reductions have occurred and we want to change this."

He said that from 2008 to 2010 Toyota Australia employees or their family and friends were involved in 6,200 vehicle accidents, 153 employees were injured in vehicle accidents and more than 4,900 red light and speeding traffic infringements were issued.

"Nationally, on average, four people die and around 80 are seriously injured everyday1, meaning that almost everyone has, at some stage, been affected by a road accident," Mr Rigopoulos said.

"Toyota Australia's biggest asset is its people and one of the company's goals is zero harm, which applies to driving a vehicle as much as it does to the workplace.

"That's why Toyota Australia has abolished its first free insurance excess for 'at fault' accidents and introduced a variable cost incentive one. These changes aim to remind drivers that they are responsible for all aspects of their driving behaviour including any infringements or insurance excess that result from putting themselves or others at risk on the road through unsafe driving."

Mr Rigopoulos said that under the new insurance scheme unsafe driving resulting in at fault accidents and red light and speeding infringements would attract points, which would be allocated to a driver's profile and used to determine how much they must pay when submitting a vehicle insurance claim. Toyota Australia will also charge an administration fee through payroll for every traffic infringement noticed processed.

"We want all employees to arrive home safely every day. By arming employees and their family and friends with the latest information on how to drive safely, combined with the new skills they pick up during driver training, and by placing a cost on unsafe driving behaviour we hope to see a reduction in employee and family injuries and vehicle accidents," Mr Rigopoulos said.


For further information, please contact:
Laura Hill, Ph: 0428 734 418, Email:

1 Statistic from the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020

Toyota Australia's John Rowan and Sam Rigopoulos (right) with a Hybrid Camry in front of a safe driving sign.