UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced 74 elite drivers from Illinois are among 1,519 newly inducted worldwide into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization for UPS drivers who have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving.
Illinois boasts 344 active Circle of Honor drivers with a combined 9,811 years of accident-free driving. Ralph Lendi of Tinley Park is the state’s senior safe driver, with 43 years of accident-free driving under his belt. There are 4,819 total UPS drivers in Illinois.
Globally, 7,221 active UPS drivers are members of the Circle of Honor. Collectively they’ve racked up over 198,000 years and more than 5.3 billion safe miles during their careers. That’s enough miles to travel to Mars and back 19 times.
“My thanks go to all of them for their dedication and focus, and for the countless lives they’ve saved,” said Joe Picone, president, UPS Illinois District.
Globally, the most seasoned UPS Circle of Honor driver is Thomas Camp of Livonia, Mich., with 51 years of driving without an accident. Ronald McKnight of the Bronx, N.Y., is next in line with 45 years of safe driving. Forty others have logged at least 40 years without an accident.
UPS’s 102,000 drivers are among the safest on the roads, logging nearly 3 billion miles a year and averaging less than one accident for every million miles driven.
UPS invested $175 million in 2013 on safety training and employs its own comprehensive driving course called “Space and Visibility.” All UPS drivers are taught safe driving methods beginning on the first day of classroom training through the company’s defensive driving platform. The training continues throughout their careers.
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. UPS formally established its safe driving honor program in 1928.