Funding boost for heavy vehicle safety programs

Media Release

DC136/2017

26 May 2017

Joint release with:

Sal Petroccitto

Chief Executive Officer
National Heavy Vehicle Regulator

A trial of livestock unloading equipment will be funded under the next round of the NHVR's Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the program was one of 12 proposals approved for a share of the $3.9 million funding by the NHVR, supported by the Federal Government.

“Landings used for loading and unloading livestock can greatly add to the safety of operators, reducing falls and giving better access to the trailer,” Mr Chester said.

“Livestock is unpredictable, particularly when loading or unloading, and any sudden movement is a risk to an operator who is usually working at heights.

“This trial, proposed by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) will not only construct and trial a Stock Crate Pivot Access Landing frame at a livestock processer, but also look at innovative funding options and how it might be rolled out at other locations across Australia.

“The rate of falls, injuries and even fatalities among livestock operators is too high and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this trial to improve both operator safety and productivity in the heavy vehicle industry.”

Chair of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee John Beer said the ‘proof of concept’ project had potential to greatly improve safety and productivity in the livestock supply chain.

“Transport operators have to rely on other parties in the supply chain to provide loading and unloading infrastructure, such as livestock ramps and pivot access unloading frames,” Mr Beer said.

“High quality infrastructure can greatly improve safety and productivity for heavy vehicle operators and this project will demonstrate an innovative new funding mechanism that incentivises rapid infrastructure improvements throughout the road transport supply chain.”

Mr Chester said the funding would also support a campaign targeting the appropriate use of shared rest stops by caravaners and heavy vehicle operators.

“The Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) proposal will inform caravaners and RV travellers on the appropriate use of rest stop sites and help to foster a safer environment for all road users,” he said.

“The CIAA campaign will cover the importance of all drivers abiding by signage to ensure trucks can access designated rest stops to allow for breaks and managing fatigue.

“We will help change lives and save lives with these projects. They are only possible because the Coalition chose to invest money in valuable road safety initiatives for the heavy vehicle industry rather than another government tribunal that delivered very little in the way of making our roads safer.”

The Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative called for implementable, value-for-money initiatives that deliver significant heavy vehicle safety benefits.

Other initiatives to receive funding under the current round include:

  • Heavy vehicle safety hotline to allow anonymous reporting of potential infringements to the NHVR
  • Forestry logistics safety program, to provide information on load restraint, key impacts on vehicle stability when transporting forestry products and emerging technologies
  • Roll out of local safe freight networks in areas where heavy vehicle crashes are higher than average
  • Installation of, and education around, green reflector markings of informal truck bays on the Newell Highway

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said funding had also been approved to expand the network of heavy vehicle compliance cameras in Victoria, ACT, Queensland and South Australia.

“The heavy vehicle camera network is part of the NHVR's broader plans for a national compliance and information system which will support real-time, agency-linked, data-collection used by Authorised Officers wherever they are in Australia,” Mr Petroccitto said.

“Better national visibility of vehicle movements will allow the NHVR and other enforcement agencies to target drivers and operators who systematically flout fatigue laws.”

The NHVR is currently working with other state road transport authorities to identify additional camera sites which are located along the busiest freight routes to maximise heavy vehicle monitoring capability.

Details of the funded programs are attached or for more information visit www.nhvr.gov.au/hvsi

InitiativeOrganisationDescription
Safety Education and Awareness Campaign to help Road and Rest Stop users to "Coexist" Caravan Industry Association of Australia A partnership education program to inform caravan and RV travellers on the appropriate use of rest stop sites and the risks associated with disruptive behaviour to help foster a safer environment for all road users.
Master Registered Code of Practice Australian Logistics Council and the Australian Trucking Association Development of a Master Registered Code of Practice for registration under section 706 of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) by peak industry bodies. The Master Code will especially assist small trucking companies with fewer than 20 employees, which comprise around 98% of trucking businesses.
Investigating the Feasibility of User-Pay Loading and Unloading Infrastructure Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association Funding of the construction of a stock crate Pivoting Access Landing (PAL) frame at a major livestock processing facility in Australia to investigate the feasibility of user-pay loading and unloading infrastructure, to help address safety issues in transporting livestock.
Forestry Logistics Safety Program Australian Forest Contractors Association Series of Australia-wide forestry logistic safety workshops targeted specifically at operators and loaders working within this high-risk industry. The workshops will provide information on legal obligations of securing loads; the stability of vehicles transporting forestry products and how to minimise truck rollover risk; identifying deficiencies in existing load restraint systems; and emerging new technologies and their use.
Standard School Bus Light Systems Bus Industry Confederation Development of a national standard for school bus light systems. This is designed to ensure safety messaging can be made consistent across Australia. It will especially assist in areas where school buses cross borders.
Sharing the Road Education Campaign (agricultural industry) In collaboration with industry stakeholders This road education campaign for the agricultural industry will help people driving on regional and rural roads understand the time sensitivities around the movement of over size and overmass vehicles.
Safe Freight Networks Safe Freight Networks Australia Systematic roll out of Local Safe Freight Networks (SFNs) in areas where heavy vehicle crashes are higher than average, including research to determine priority areas.
Green Reflector Markings of Informal Truck Bays—Newell Highway Truckright This campaign will see green reflector markings installed near informal truck bays along the Newell Highway. Truck drivers will be informed of the initiative and reminded of how to use truck stopping bays to manage fatigue.
Heavy Vehicle Compliance Monitoring Network State and Territory governments Funding to implement an expanded network of heavy vehicle compliance monitoring cameras in Victoria, Australian Capital Territory, Queensland and South Australia.
Bus Fire Evacuation Protocol and Advice Bus Industry Confederation Development of a Bus Fire Evacuation Protocol, as a practical tool to train drivers and managers about what to do in the event of a bus fire.
Heavy Vehicle Safety Hotline NHVR (with industry stakeholders) A hotline that will allow individuals within the heavy vehicle industry to anonymously report potential infringements to the Regulator and service delivery partners.
Heavy Vehicle Adverse Environment Operations Forum South Gippsland Shire Council A six-month trial of fog driving awareness is fog-prone areas, as well as the development of an operational plan and communication strategy.