Drivers Weren’t Listening To The Authorities – So Norway Called Mum
– “You are so skinny. I don’t know what I should give you to eat to get you to put on weight.”
– “Don’t exaggerate,” replies Lukasz Gorzynik (33) from Krosno in Poland, as he stares dejectedly at his mother Anna Gorzynik, who is sat in the passenger seat of his lorry.
– “He just cried and didn’t want to eat anything. There was always some drama,” recalls Anna as she looks affectionately at a childhood photo of her son.
Lukasz’ mother has been invited by the Norwegian authorities to accompany her son on the job in Norway. Anna is the star of a new public awareness film produced by the Norwegian public authorities. The hope is that the mother of five can help them make working conditions and driving conditions for foreign lorry drivers in Norway both safer and better.
– Showing you that you can trust and depend on us
One out of three lorry drivers on the Norwegian roads are foreign nationals, with the lion’s share coming from Eastern Europe. Every day 3000 lorries cross the border into Norway.
The Norwegian public authorities and the road haulage sector as a whole have now joined forces to produce the public awareness film “Mother presents” in order to increase knowledge among foreign professional lorry drivers and their employers of the particular road safety regulations applicable in Norway and the unique driving conditions encountered on the Norwegian roads. Lukasz’ mother plays the lead role in the film.
– “The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of working conditions in Norway and driving conditions on the Norwegian roads. It is also important to show foreign lorry drivers that the Norwegian authorities are trustworthy and dependable,” says Ingrid Finboe Svendsen, director of the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority – one of the organizations behind the public awareness campaign.
The authorities would like to foster a better dialogue with foreign lorry drivers
Driving conditions in Norway differ from what foreign lorry drivers in Norway are used to from their homelands. A range of specific regulations apply for drivers on the Norwegian road network, which foreign lorry drivers are required to familarize themselves with.
The authorities are struggling to enter into a dialogue with foreign lorry drivers.
– “It has been a challenge for the authorities to get in touch with lorry drivers from Eastern Europe. So we asked ourselves the question: ‘Who are they going to listen to?’” asks Finboe Svendsen.
The answer, of course, is their mother.
Three times more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents
There are few jobs in which you are as likely to be involved in a work-related accident as the job of lorry driver. 14 percent of road haulage firms operating in Norway experienced accidents involving injury in the course of the past twelve months, according to a research report by the research body Fafo and the Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics.
In recent years Eastern European lorry drivers have become significantly better equipped to negotiate the harsh Norwegian winter, according to figures published by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. In spite of this, foreign lorry drivers continue to be three times more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents on the Norwegian roads.
In Norway there are approximately 35 percent more fatalities per capita from road traffic accidents involving heavy goods vehicles compared with the European average, according to Fafo and the Norwegian Institute of Transport Economics.
Many foreign lorry drivers are underpaid. Amongst other things this is due to the fact that they are not aware of their right to a minimum wage and a food allowance when driving a cabotage in Norway.
– “Foreign lorry drivers are important for Norway, and they are very welcome here on the Norwegian roads. Nonetheless, Norway is a unique country with slippery, steep, winding and narrow roads. Lorry drivers must be well-prepared; if not, they risk finding themselves in dangerous situations on the road. Our hope is that this public awareness campaign will be of help to those foreign lorry drivers whose work brings them to Norway,” says Finboe Svendsen.
Here are a few of the regulations you will be subject to when driving on Norwegian roads, together with advice on what lorry drivers will need to pay extra attention to here in Norway:
· When you drive a cabotage and/or a combined transport in Norway, it is a requirement that you be paid the Norwegian minimum wage (GBP 15.43/hour) plus a food allowance (GBP 30/day)
· Due to the challenging driving conditions which pertain in Norway in the wintertime, specific requirements are stipulated with respect to tires, tread depth and snow chains for heavy goods vehicles.
· Driving conditions on Norwegian roads can be very demanding, especially in the wintertime.
· EU regulations concerning driving time and rest periods also apply in Norway.
· When the weather is bad or when there are difficult driving conditions in the mountains, there is a risk that the road will be closed or that you will be required to join a convoy. For this reason please be sure to bring warm clothing and something to eat and drink in the cab while you wait for clearance to continue your journey. It is also advisable to fully refuel your vehicle prior to embarking upon a trip through the mountains.
· Remember that the route suggested by your GPS may not always be suitable for heavy goods vehicles. It is therefore a very good idea to check that the route proposed is in fact suitable for your vehicle.
· The “Mother presents” campaign has been launched by a group of Norwegian road haulage sector organizations: employers' organizations, unions and public authorities (third-party road transport industry programme).
The stars of the film
Anna Gorzynik considers it a great honour that the Norwegian authorities contacted her to help them improve the everyday working life of foreign lorry drivers in Norway.
– “I never dreamed that someone in a country so far away would consider my thoughts valuable and worth hearing. I’m just a very ordinary lady. I’ve been given such a warm welcome here, and I’m happy to be able to help. I really admire lorry drivers who earn money for their families back home,” says Anna.
– I love my children
Anna has worked at an old people’s home for the past 20 years. She owns her own flat in Krosno, where she has plenty of space for guests so that her five children, aged 21 to 33, can come and visit her there.
– “When Lukasz is out on the road I am always worried. I think to myself, will he reach his destination in one piece, is he keeping himself healthy, will he be robbed, will he be involved in an accident? I’m a mother, so it’s only natural that I worry.”
– Mother was extremely concerned
Lukasz has been a professional lorry driver ever since he completed his military service.
– “You are on your own out on the road, which means that you are your own boss, employee, bodyguard and journey planner all rolled into one. But the most important thing of all is that you are responsible for your own and others’ safety out on the road,” says Lukasz.
For Lukasz, driving on the Norwegian roads is an exceptional experience compared with many other places he has worked.
– “Driving around Norway is just fantastic. Excellent roads, with clear signposting and a wonderful view. A very unique atmosphere. In the past I have been sent to work in East Ukraine. It was so dangerous to work there, and my mother was very concerned for my wellbeing,” says Lukasz.
Copywriter: Trygve Andreas Tønnessen, Morten Borgestad and Sarah Willoch
Designer: Bjørn Kalberg Salte
Creative Agency: Geelmuyden Kiese
Project Manager: Celine Gran
Client Director: Geir Ove Harnes
Community Management: Paal Nygård
Music and Sound
Music Production: Grzegorz Turnau & Magda Umer - Bajka Iskierki
Editor: Marcus Kryler
Post Production / VFX
Producer: Øystein Dyb
Production Company: Bacon
Producer: Ola Narum Berg/Magne Lyngner
Director: Tarik Saleh
Photographer : Daniel Voldheim/Marianne Bakke
Category: Automotive , Trucks and Vans