Driver awareness key message as TruckWeek 2016 kicks into gear
31 August 2016
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester has re-emphasised the need for motorists to drive with care, following the release of a new report on heavy vehicle road crashes.
The report findings coincide with the Australian Trucking Association's (ATA) TruckWeek 2016, a national week of events (29 August to 4 September) that highlights the importance of the trucking industry.
Mr Chester said TruckWeek 2016 was an opportunity to discuss ways to improve road safety.
“Heavy vehicles are disproportionately involved in crashes involving fatalities, yet in approximately 80 per cent of fatal multiple-vehicle crashes, fault is not assigned to the heavy vehicle driver,” he said.
“Approximately 60 per cent of persons killed in heavy truck crashes are light vehicle occupants and another 20 per cent are vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists, cyclists or pedestrians.
“We all need to remain vigilant on our roads.”
The report, Heavy truck safety: crash analysis and trends, issued by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), examined road crashes that involved heavy trucks and compared figures against crashes involving light vehicles.
Mr Chester said the downward trend in heavy-vehicle related fatalities over the past decade was positive, but there was still work to be done.
“Fatalities in crashes involving articulated trucks are trending down at approximately five per cent a year. Additionally, fatalities of heavy truck occupantsare also trending down, at approximately seven per cent per year,” Mr Chester said.
“But every crash resulting in death or serious injury is a tragedy for those involved.
“These life-changing incidents put incredible strain on the community, local emergency services, and other motorists. I would ask all drivers to take extra care during Truck Week 2016 and in the coming months as we soon enter the holiday period.”
For more information on the National Road Safety Strategy 2011–2020, please visit http://roadsafety.gov.au/.
For a copy of BITRE's report, and other related reports, visit http://bitre.gov.au/.
TruckWeek 2016 is held by the ATA every two years and is a nationwide celebration of the trucking industry.