Forsyth County is known for its traffic, which can lead to some dangerous moves from some drivers trying to get where they’re going but don’t count Roger Smith among those unsafe drivers.
Smith, a north Forsyth resident, was recently named the Papa John’s Focused on Safe Driving top delivery driver in the metro-Atlanta region for the third quarter of the year for his work at the restaurant’s Sharon Road location.
“It feels good,” Smith said of the recognition. “I care about it anyway, I wouldn’t want to be at the bottom of the list, buy my scores consistently, if they weren’t 99, they were 100. It didn’t matter how many deliveries I took, at the end of the night I would be 99 or 100, and they told me at the end it was like 99.988. It was way up there, especially for metropolitan Atlanta.”
Smith, who is also a carrier for Forsyth County News, said he had been with Papa Johns for about two years and had previously worked in circulation for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before retiring in 2009.
For the contest, drivers’ scores were tallied by Drivosity, a GPS device that measures speeding, hard acceleration, hard braking and hard cornering. Drivers start with a score of 100 and are docked points based on those categories.
“It encourages you to drive below the speed limit and to be safe,” Smith said. “If you go around a curve too fast – if it’s fast enough that something will slide across your dashboard – it’s going to nail you.”
The device gets pretty in-depth with its testing, such as considering anything more than 3 mph over the speed limit to be speeding and knocking off points for accelerating 7.7 mph in a second or less, though it doesn’t consider manual shifts or speed bumps in that score.
Smith works out of the restaurant’s Sharon Road location, which can have its own share of traffic issues.
“There are times when we start driving and it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic,” he said. “We pull out of the lot on Sharon Road, and it’ll take you 15 minutes just to get down to Old Atlanta.”
In recognition of the award, Smith was presented with a hat, shirt, flashlight and one special item that is a nod to the company’s Louisville, Kentucky roots: a personalized red and black Louisville Slugger baseball bat with his name and the award inscribed on it.
“Oh, that was the best part of it,” Smith said. “I’m a baseball fan, so I like the Louisville Slugger better than anything else I got. Those things aren’t cheap.”