Service Safety and Quality Council
The Service Safety and Quality Council was established by Autostrade per l'Italia in collaboration with the Adiconsum, Adoc, Adusbef, Codacons and Federconsumatori consumer associations pursuant to a specific Memorandum of Understanding entered into by the aforementioned associations on 16.11.2005. The council meets every two months or so and its commitment has extended, from the very start, to other important parties, such as the Italian Traffic Police, ASAPS (Association of Friends and Supporters of the Italian Traffic Police), Isoradio, Road Hauliers, Quattroruote and transport unions, that are involved in the supply of highway services at different levels The council's aim is to identify, approve and check highway services improvement plans and initiatives and the level of infrastructure safety. The first report on council activities was presented at a press conference in June 2007, eighteen months or so after the Service Safety and Quality Council had been set up.
A third publication drawn up by the Autostrade per l'Italia marketing unit and shared with all participants, is now available. The publication describes the activities and the results achieved by the council between January 2009 and December 2011.
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The main council initiatives are set out below:
Overload Tutor: to reduce the number of accidents resulting from overloaded lorries, Autostrade per l'Italia and the Italian Traffic Police have jointly devised an innovative dynamic weigh-in-motion system for heavy vehicles. The system relies on sensors placed in the asphalt and cameras placed on a portal 10 km before type-approved static weighing station, which is needed for stopping vehicles, confirming infringements and issuing fines (by the Italian Traffic Police).
TOP 500 Customers: innovative project involving the TOP 500 customers (frequent and extensive travellers), who, depending on their travel experiences, can provide warnings and suggestions that can be used to prevent or resolve problems and implement innovative projects. Selected customers are members of one of the 5 consumer association that are part of the council.
Information and education project on variable message panels launched at the end of 2011 and implemented via a dedicated website, with a view to educating customers to read the messages, explore the efficacy and clarity of on-air messages for the purposes of taking appropriate corrective action and identifying new customer-proposed road safety messages, while promoting good driving behaviour.
Safety Tutor: results, extension plan and information brochure, with the aim of providing customers with more detailed information on Tutor service diagrams and highlighting the efficacy and the results achieved.
Prevention corner: free medical service for road haulers that has been in place since 2010 and was relaunched in 2011 by Autostrade per l'Italia in collaboration with Italian Red Cross in 4 network service areas (A1 - Secchia and Prenestina Est, A14 Sillaro Ovest and A4 Brianza North) to provide a real-time health check-up and an opportunity to speak to medical staff via video link.
Play areas: 10 additional outdoor spaces for network children were created in service areas in 2011, bringing the number of children's play areas to 51.
The 12 months of safety: information campaign launched in 2011 to raise customer awareness of the main causes of accidents, to dispel myths and encourage correct driving behaviour through communication actions dedicated to the theme of the month and promoted on the various media platforms.
Highway petrol signs that show the fuel prices available in the 4 service areas after the sign are updated by area operators directly.
"Young travellers, safe adults", awareness campaign on the correct use of child seats.
"Car Pooling": a cost-effective alternative solution to traditional travel, launched on the A8 and A9 in conjunction with the commencement of works, which involves a number of people on the same route travelling in the same car, with benefits for the environment and for each traveller.
Upgrading plan for central reservation and noise barriers.
Improvement of road work signage and supplementation of the signage envisaged by the Italian Highway Code.
New procedure for recovering debt arising from the non-payment of tolls by customers without an entry ticket.
"Sosta Amica" and "Prezzo Amico": responsibility, quality, cleanliness, cost-effectiveness and the services provided. Electronic panels that provide fuel price comparison and highlight the cost-effectiveness compared to off-highway prices have been installed in Prezzo Amico areas. Sosta Amica areas continue to promote the "Free Coffee at night" initiative.
Conciliation procedure for the resolution of disputes between customers and Autostrade per l'Italia (see the Conciliation procedure section).
Service area expansion plan, for the upgrading and expansion of all service areas.
Sales process and Front Office support monitoring at Punto Blu points, provided in collaboration with consumer associations for service quality, sales process and Front Office support monitoring at Punto Blu Points.
Monitoring of off-highway fuel prices, provided in collaboration with consumer associations for the monitoring of the self-service petrol and diesel prices of petrol stations close to toll booth areas (79 Prezzo Amico service areas with the aim of assessing the cost-effectiveness of the fuel prices of highway petrol stations as compared to off-highway petrol stations (259 ordinary network sales points).
RINA Certification: In 2005, Autostrade per l'Italia adopted and certified the Highway Quality Level (HQL) measurement framework developed by RINA. This activity falls within the scope of the memorandum of understanding between Autostrade per l'Italia and the consumer associations and has affected around 500 km of the Autostrade per l'Italia network to date.