Ministers for the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities The Hon Michael McCormack MP Deputy Prime MinisterMinister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie Minister for Regional ServicesMinister for SportMinister for Local Government and Decentralisation The Hon Alan Tudge MP Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population The Hon Sussan Ley MP Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories The Hon Andrew Broad MP Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Scott Buchholz MP Assistant Minister for Roads and Transport The Hon Barnaby Joyce MPFormer Deputy Prime MinisterFormer Minister for Infrastructure and Transport The Hon Dr John McVeigh MPFormer Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government The Hon Keith Pitt MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Damian Drum MPFormer Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Senator the Hon Fiona Nash Former Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Darren Chester MP Former Minister for Infrastructure and TransportFormer A/g Minister for Regional DevelopmentFormer A/g Minister for Local Government and Territories The Hon Warren Truss MP Former Deputy Prime Minister Former Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Former Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities The Hon Jamie Briggs MP Former Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development

Improving heavy vehicle safety important for all road users

Opinion Piece

DCO-002/2016

01 September 2016

Across Australia, 534,000 heavy vehicles are delivering the goods we need to keep our nation moving.

And the people driving these trucks are no different to those sharing the road in cars, on bikes, or motorcycles: they all want to arrive home safely.

Heavy vehicle safety is a key priority for me as Transport Minister, which is why the Australian Government continues to invest record funding in road infrastructure and safety programmes.

There has been a reduction in road trauma within the heavy vehicle sector, but the overall road toll is increasing and we need a coordinated national approach.

This week the Commonwealth announced more than $97.6 million in upgrades through Round Five of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme, which will be delivered in partnership with local councils and state governments.

This funding complements the government's wider heavy vehicle safety strategy, which includes additional funding to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Bridges Renewal Programme, and National Highway Upgrade Programme.

By working with the heavy vehicle industry, we are getting on with the job of providing safer and more productive freight network. This not only has benefits to businesses and primary industries, but delivers improvements for all road users.

This week, Australia's trucking industry is also celebrating TruckWeek 2016 (August 29–September 4).

TruckWeek 2016 is an initiative of the Australian Trucking Association that aims to raise awareness of the important role trucks play in our economy. It also a chance to recognise the need for safer interaction between heavy and light vehicles.

Statistics show heavy vehicles are disproportionately involved in crashes involving fatalities, yet in about 80 per cent of fatal multiple-vehicle crashes, fault is not assigned to the heavy vehicle driver.

This is a reminder of why we all need to remain vigilant on the roads, because every road user deserves to arrive at their destinations safely.