Rapid assistance in emergencies thanks to “DocStop”
This idea really is something special – and, so far, one of its kind in the whole of Europe: The DocStop initiative, which was launched in 2007 and counts DEKRA among its sponsors, is designed to contribute to greater road safety and greater safety at the workplace of bus drivers and other professional drivers in the transport industry. The initiative was the brainchild of DocStop initiator Rainer Bernickel, who came up with the idea of providing rapid medical assistance for professional drivers suffering from health problems during the course of their work and that this medical assistance should be provided by professionals – after all, self-medication often does not lead to the desired improvements.
To prevent accidents caused by drivers falling ill at the wheel, DocStop has over the years established a Germany-wide network of more than 700 doctors and hospitals, as well as rest stops, truck stops and logistics companies, which act as info stations along highways and main roads.
At the DocStop stations, which can be easily identified by the green and blue DocStop logo, and via the hotline 01805 112 024, drivers in need can report any health problems they may be experiencing. They will then be told where the nearest doctor or hospital is where they can go for treatment, allowing them to continue their journey – provided, of course, that they have been given the all-clear – with the right medication. “Ultimately, only a healthy driver is a safe driver who will endanger neither themselves nor other road users,” says Joachim Fehrenkötter, CEO of the logistics company of the same name and honorary chairman of DocStop.
The initiators of DocStop have long since expanded operations to other countries, too. Since 2013, four Doc- Stop info points have been set up in Denmark in partnership with the Danish transport company association, while in Poland, the DocStop network now comprises more than 50 doctors and info stations. The first DocStop station opened in the Netherlands in April 2015, while Austria now has seven info stations. The initiative is currently helping to set up a DocStop association in the Czech Republic, and intensive discussions are currently underway with partners in Hungary and France.