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UPS Celebrates Safe Driving, Adds 785 to Elite Circle of Honor


ATLANTA.- UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced the induction of 785 drivers into its elite Circle of Honor, raising the total number of active drivers who have steered clear of accidents for at least 25 years to 4,451.

Of the Circle of Honor members, 137 have been accident-free for 35 or more years, with six of those having driven more than 40 years without an accident. UPS’s most seasoned safe driver in 2007 is tractor-trailer driver Ron Sowder of UPS’s Kentucky District. He has reached 45 years of driving without an accident.

Collectively, active drivers in UPS’s Circle of Honor have logged nearly 5 billion safe miles during their careers. That’s as many miles as 10,000 trips to the moon and back.

“Safe driving is at the heart of our business, something our drivers don’t take for granted,” said Kevin Strahan, UPS’s corporate health and safety manager. “This group of men and women embodies our commitment to safety, making the roads safer not only for themselves but for all motorists.”

UPS’s 102,000 drivers worldwide are among the safest on the roads, logging more than 2 billion miles - and less than one accident per million miles driven - per year.

“For UPS, it’s a basic tenet of the company’s culture,” said Kathy Lusby-Treber, director of the Network for Employers for Traffic Safety, or NETS. “When you look at the number of drivers who continue to be recognized in the Circle of Honor, it shows the company’s commitment to safety training. It shows that the company has a set of values.”

All UPS drivers are taught safe driving methods beginning on the first day of classroom training, including the company’s comprehensive safety course, “Space and Visibility.” The training continues throughout their careers.

New UPS tractor-trailer drivers receive 80 hours of computer-based and on-the-road training before operating equipment. Drivers of UPS’s familiar brown package delivery cars complete 20 hours of computer-based and on-the-road training, plus three safety ride evaluations during their first 22 days on the job.

Drivers learn the rules of the road from UPS managers who are required to complete an intensive three-week course at one of the toughest driving schools in America, the UPS Driver Training School in South Holland, Ill.

UPS’s rigorous training and exemplary safety record has caught the attention of others in business and government. In fact, over the last few years, more than 150 U.S. companies and state agencies have sought to replicate the success of UPS drivers by asking to benchmark the company’s training and methods.

While most Circle of Honor members work in the United States, membership also includes drivers in Canada and Germany. Today’s USA Today features a three-page advertisement formally recognizing all of the drivers. Meanwhile, in each of the UPS districts where they work, new Circle of Honor members and their spouses will be honored during ceremonies to highlight their achievements.

Founded in 1907, UPS has a rich history of safety and training. The company issued its first driver handbook in 1917 and began recognizing safe drivers in 1923. In 1928, UPS recognized its first five-year safe driver, Ray McCue, with UPS founder Jim Casey presenting him a gold and platinum watch. The Circle of Honor was formally established as the mechanism to recognize safe drivers in 1955.

More information on UPS’s commitment to safety is available at


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