IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu, during his closing address to the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) Symposium in Istanbul, Turkey, (14 September 2012), praised the safety record of the Turkish Straits VTS, which came into service in 2003, and encouraged IALA and VTS operators to undertake an initiative in which ports, harbours, straits and sea areas with VTS would count, and publicise, the number of consecutive accident-free days.
Mr. Sekimizu said that since the introduction of the advanced VTS in the Strait of Istanbul, the Strait of Çanakkale, and the Marmara Sea, there had been no major accident and it had been a significant achievement to maintain such a record over nearly a decade. He added that, in order to promote safety and encourage all parties involved, a clear concept – akin to a corporate safety culture – for all those with an interest in safe navigation in the Straits, and in areas covered by VTS, should be created to ensure that everybody is working together to achieve a common objective. “For me,” he said “the phrase ‘Accident Zero’ encapsulates the overall objective.”
Mr. Sekimizu continued, “Every day it will be a challenge for all concerned to achieve ‘Accident Zero’ and each accident-free day that is achieved will extend the success of the concept and encourage everyone involved to extend the number of ‘Accident Zero’ days. This will provide a solid framework for working together, to involve everybody and to encourage everyone to contribute towards a common and great objective – continuous days of ‘Accident Zero’.”
Mr. Sekimizu asked IALA to consider this concept and develop, together with him, an ‘Accident Zero’ campaign worldwide, and to start this campaign from Istanbul. He said that, “with a solid, good track record of operation under one of the most advanced VTS, I think Istanbul is ideally placed to be the standard-bearer for a worldwide ‘Accident Zero’ campaign.”