Putting the brakes on heavy vehicle road accidents

Media Release

PF081/2017

20 December 2017

The Australian Government is seeking feedback on several options designed to improve the safety of new heavy vehicles by ensuring they are fitted with the latest advanced braking technologies.

More than 200 people are killed on Australian roads each year as a result of fatal crashes involving heavy trucks or buses.

Approximately 20 per cent of those tragic deaths can be linked to rollovers or loss of control. By fitting advanced braking systems to heavy vehicles, it is estimated that we can save 124 lives and reduce the number of serious injuries by more than 1,000 over the expected period of regulation.

Heavy vehicles represent three per cent of registered Australian vehicles but are involved in close to 17 per cent of fatal crashes.

While in multi-vehicle crashes a light vehicle is most likely to have been at fault, heavy vehicles nonetheless have characteristics that can increase both the risk and severity of crashes, including their large mass, long length and relatively longer stopping distances.

Today I am releasing a Consultation Regulation Impact Statement (RIS) on options for advanced braking technologies in heavy vehicles. I am also releasing draft Australian Design Rules which have been developed in close cooperation with peak industry bodies.

The RIS identifies fitting Electronic Stability Control and related systems, such as Antilock Brake Systems and Roll Stability Control, to heavy vehicles as effective countermeasures. These would build on the earlier mandating of ABS systems being fitted to some heavy vehicles, as well as the introduction of guidelines developed by the trucking industry for operating truck and trailer combinations with different braking characteristics.

Anyone interested in providing feedback on the RIS has until Friday, 2 February 2018, to do so.
Copies of the RIS, related draft ADRs and a feedback form are available at: infrastructure.gov.au/department/ips/consultations.aspx.