Cape UPS drivers earn safe driving awards
When you drive as much as much as Frank Bradley and Rockne Lamp do, being able to go 25 years without a preventable accident is quite an accomplishment.
UPS knows that, which is why these two Cape Coral residents were among just 88 in the state of Florida to be inducted into the Circle of Honor, an honorary organization of drivers for have achieved 25 or more years of accident-free driving.
Bradley, a 30-year worker who works out of the Naples location, said he started as a pre-loader in Fort Myers 1986, working his way up to a driver after shifting to the Naples office, where the importance of safety is constantly preached.
“The longer you stick with it the more opportunity you have. It’s the best way to do things in life; to show you can stick with it,” Bradley said, who estimates he is closing in on a million accident-free miles, not including his commute. “It’s great to get the award. UPS always rewards its employees for safety and we have a lot of programs that teach the employees about safety.”
Lamp, a 32-year employee who was named after the legendary football coach, was one of the rare ones to be hired to drive, first seasonal, then permanent.
He compared the honor to being married to someone over 50 years when asked how he felt. Perhaps the best way to explain it is that he’s just blessed.
“You don’t know why it works out. You just work at it and God blesses you. You do what you can do and the rest is in God’s hands,” Lamp said.
One of the odd things is that Lamp has had basically the same area for the past 27 years, covering north Cape Coral, Matlacha, Pine Island and St. James City.
“I used to have the whole area. Now, it’s just Matlacha and a little of the Cape in the summer. You couldn’t do it now with all the people out there,” Camp said. “UPS is constantly making sure you are aware of what’s around you.”
During season, Matlacha can be a nightmare to drive with all the tourists on a two-lane road and little to no parking and the little shops downtown.
“UPS drivers have to put it on their bucket list. They haven’t lived until that deliver Matlacha this time of year,” Camp said. “I’ve had to stop traffic and deliver packages because there was nowhere to park.”
Florida boasts 499 active Circle of Honor drivers with a combined 14,081 years of accident-free driving. Worldwide, there are 8,703 drivers with that distinction.
The secret to being able to avoid accidents is to simply be alert and lucky, especially during snowbird season. It also helps to live right.
“You need to be aware of your surroundings and keep your eyes on everything and think for the drivers in front of you. We’re professional drivers so we have to think ahead of them,” Bradley said.
“Exercise, eating right, getting the right amount of rest, and playing first and foremost,” Lamp said. “Things fall where they may.”