“If everything does not work as it should, I know how to deal with it”
Some people believe that they are GIBDD (State Road Traffic Safety Inspection) officers, others – insurance agents, but still the majority know that Traffic Safety Inspectors are specially trained employees who provide their assistance on highways in any situation, which is absolutely free of charge. Due to this fact, they are often called “yellow angels”. Honestly speaking, they are very modest and do not usually talk of their merits. One of UTS Traffic Safety Inspectors Aleksey Timakov told us about peculiarities of TSI training, action plan under emergency and other assistance resources.
Co-pilots turn to captains
- What are the main TSI responsibilities?
- The main thing TSI is responsible for on the highway is safety. In order to provide it we systematically make routine (and unplanned) inspections along the assigned toll highway sites. We come to the aid of people fallen into contingent situation. Some may feel bad while driving, others have traffic accidents, still others could simply get lost. And this is the work of Traffic Safety Inspector to show the right way, call required service or manage the traffic – sign and secure the accident area, inform other drivers on emergency, get a ride to the gas station or help to fix minor breakage.
- Does this work require special training or people get admitted to work at once?
- A beginner will never be allowed to work at once. When a potential Traffic Safety Inspector is just hired, he is obliged to complete compulsory training, which consists of academic part (lectures) and probation.
Academic course lasts for two weeks: all knowledge obtained at lectures really works: owing to it TSI knows how to provide assistance to road users and ensure safety at work for himself as well. Moreover, Traffic Safety Inspectors take the course of first aid treatment in EMERCOM.
After comes probation – newcomers, as “co-pilots”, assist experienced Traffic Safety Inspectors. To my mind, it is the best way to get in work. You can see how theoretical knowledge is implemented in real life.
Then you have to pass the exam and only after you will get your admit to work. By the way, I was examined by my line manager. It was twice more crucial.
- Do you mean that you are able to rescue a person out of car on fire and provide first aid treatment?
- Certainly, I will do my best to help him/her. Moreover, I am obliged to keep other road users in safety – inform them ,sign and secure the accident area to prevent others drivers secondary accident which can be even worth then the initial event.
- Does there exist a particular action plan in case of contingent situation? Did you experience any unexpected situations?
- We have regulations, according to which we shall intervene at the incident within 10 minutes. In general, we arrive there first and start with assessing the situation, probable consequences, any injured, impact on traffic. Then we shall inform the Traffic Management Center Operator. Based on my analysis and information he takes decision on what emergency services should be called up. At this time we act like his “eyes” on the scene.
The first step is to cover the event area with TSI van equipped with emergency stop signals. In case of injured we shall provide first aid treatment to them.
If a broken vehicle needs towing, we request for vehicle recovery service which are also organized by UTS and provided for free.
Sometimes we may divert and adjust some of our rules to improve the situation but only under condition that it will keep other road users and us safe.
- Do you involve your colleagues if the situation requires?
- We do. Sometimes Traffic Safety Inspector is not able to cope with everything by himself. For instance, when the cars block several lanes. In order to sign this accident place we need an additional van. Traffic Safety Inspectors activate emergency stop signals, sign the venue and manage the traffic until police arrives, so as the accident could affect the traffic as little as possible. In serious cases our on duty managers are also involved in order to guide us.
“Team spirit matters”
- How long have you been working as TSI? What was the most difficult during adaptation?
- I was hired a little more than a year ago. The most difficult for me was to get used to shift-basis working hours, but as time passed, I grew accustomed to it and now I get it right.
- What does it mean to you to be a part of TSI service?
- Team spirit matters. You see, during the shift we work in groups of two (each inspector is assigned to a particular highway site). The other inspector can count on me as well as I always trust him. This is the way, how it works. We support each other because we know if something happens, we need to do our best. It’s a pleasure to know the Company Top Management realizes it and stands up for everybody.
- Did you have any curious situations at work?
- I heard several times that Traffic Safety Inspectors delivered babies on the road. In fact, it was my first question during my probation: what I shall do if it happens during my shift (laughing). Till now I did not experience that but you know, I am ready for such occasions!
- What qualities should a man possess to become Traffic Safety Inspector?
- One should be strong-minded, cool-headed and decisive, the latter is the most significant. TSI should not be afraid of taking responsibility.
One should have good driving skills and take care of order inside the vehicle. Physical condition is also important as special equipment used in work is rather heavy. The signs are made of metal, cones are intentionally made heavier to prevent them from being blown away with the wind.
Besides, potential Traffic Safety Inspector should be communicative and stress-resistant.
- Did you have any specific background, which helped you at work in UTS?
- I started to attend physical trainings since school after became keen on auto racing. Now, I hardly can imagine myself without driving and that skill was definitely put to good use at work. For now, I am not engaged in auto racing any longer but fixing motorcycles became my hobby.
- You said that Traffic Safety Inspector should be stress-resistant, why? Is it related to complex situations on the road?
- It is, but, first, we deal with people and they can behave differently and everybody has his/her own attitude to our service. Some even do not pay attention to us: “Arrived? Ok, I don’t care”.
Highways are still something new for Russian people and they need time to get used to this reality. Due to this fact, people often behave the way they do on regular federal roads: stop the car and get out of it. But we do have different rules! It is dangerous and it is part of our work to clarify such violations to users.
Fortunately, the number of people, who understand us, increases year by year. Some thanks us for help and support, others ask for contacts to send positive reviews. They see you came to help and thanks to such people, we want to make a bigger input.