Coalition Government committed to reducing road trauma in heavy vehicle industry

Media Release

DC042/2016

11 April 2016

The Federal Government is working to reduce road trauma in the heavy vehicle industry through a range of measures designed to save lives and prevent serious injury.

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said targeted regulations and road safety measures were being implemented to keep truck drivers safe, underpinned by the Coalition's record $50 billion investment in infrastructure.

Mr Chester said the government's heavy vehicle safety initiatives would provide better safety outcomes for all road users.

“We know that building better roads can not only change lives, it can save lives, which is why the Coalition Government has committed to $50 billion in infrastructure investment,” Mr Chester said.

“The government's initiatives are designed for all road users to get to their destination safely by funding practical road safety solutions, in partnership with the heavy vehicle industry.”

Mr Chester said funding was being directed to where it was needed most, through the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme, Black Spot Programme, Roads to Recovery Programme, and Bridges Renewal Programme.

This includes building 34 new or upgraded truck rest stops, innovative safety measures on key interstate freight routes, upgrading level crossings and building more overtaking lanes.

Mr Chester said the Coalition has announced it will abolish the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT) and place additional focus on road safety by providing more resources to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

“The government and the transport sector are committed to road safety and the NHVR has the support of industry as it undertakes its work,” Mr Chester said.

“Everyone wants to save lives and prevent serious injury on our roads. The Coalition has a multi-layered approach to getting truck drivers home safely and keeping Australia moving.

“This approach involves a mix of regulation and infrastructure upgrades, complemented by industry-led safety initiatives.”

The Australian Government has committed to a number of regulatory activities to improve heavy vehicle safety. These include:

  • Establishment of a national camera system to identify drivers and operators that do not comply with fatigue rules and avoid breaks;
  • A national data base of vehicles linked to a national written-off heavy vehicle register to prevent re-birthing of vehicles after accidents;
  • Targeted industry training programs to ensure operators are able to fully comply with all safety and operational requirements;
  • Strengthening of the Chain of Responsibility regime to ensure all relevant parties in the supply chain share responsibility for safety of heavy vehicle road transport operators;
  • Enforcement approaches to specifically address speeding heavy vehicles by targeting speed limiters;
  • Update to load restraint guidance to provide transport drivers and operators with basic safety principles for the safe carriage of loads; and,
  • Review of roadworthiness systems and maintenance requirements to improve accreditation of operators.