Road toll still high after drop

Big Rigs - - NEWS - Kate Dodd kate.dodd@bi­grigs.com.au

THERE have been 14 fewer fa­tal heavy truck crashes and 22 less fa­tal­i­ties from heavy truck crashes in the year end­ing Septem­ber 23, ac­cord­ing to a new re­port.

The fig­ures were re­leased by the NSW Govern­ment.

The re­port de­fined a heavy truck crash as any in­volv­ing a heavy rigid truck (rigid lorry and rigid tanker with a tare weight in ex­cess of 4.5 tonnes or an ar­tic­u­lated truck (ar­tic­u­lated tanker, semi­trailer, low loader, road train or B-dou­ble) on a road that re­sults in death, in­jury or towed ve­hi­cle and is re­ported to the po­lice.

A heavy truck fa­tal­ity was de­fined as a per­son who dies within 30 days from in­juries re­ceived in a heavy truck crash.

NSW Po­lice Force Traf­fic and High­way Pa­trol Com­mand Chief In­spec­tor Phillip Brooks said while these were num­bers that couldn’t be cel­e­brated, the de­crease in se­ri­ous in­jury and fa­tal crashes showed the worth of the work and, most im­por­tantly, the en­gage­ment the NSW Po­lice Force had with key stake­hold­ers right through the in­dus­try.

“It is those truck driv­ers, op­er­a­tors and all in the supply chain that are de­liv­er­ing the re­sults that give the com­mu­nity great con­fi­dence on our roads,” he said.

“These re­sults also high­light the sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment that own­ers and op­er­a­tors are mak­ing in new gear, along with in­vest­ing in their driv­ers in terms of train­ing pro­grams, that has safety at the fore­front of heavy ve­hi­cle trans­port on our roads.

“With the great fo­cus of stake­hold­ers such as the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion and other groups, po­lice will con­tinue to en­gage the in­dus­try at all lev­els to re­duce the risk on our roads.”

Mean­while, Trans­port Work­ers Union NSW state sec­re­tary Richard Olsen said the over­all trend for fa­tal truck crashes in the state showed no real im­prove­ment.

“While there was a ma­jor spike in 2017, the statis­tics for 2018 show a re­turn to the trend, which is still far too high,” Mr Olsen said.

He added that noth­ing would change un­til ma­jor is­sues in the sec­tor were ad­dressed, in­clud­ing:

■ Driv­ers wait­ing up to five hours for a load be­fore need­ing to drive for seven hours

■ Light ve­hi­cle driv­ers stub­bornly con­tin­u­ing to ig­nore the safety needs of heavy ve­hi­cles

■ Driv­ers be­ing tar­geted by those who make the law and en­force com­pli­ance as the root of the prob­lems on the road

■ And the govern­ment “re­fus­ing to en­able good pol­icy that en­sures reg­u­la­tion is put in place to hold com­pa­nies which con­trol the trans­port supply chain to ac­count”

PHOTO: KIRSTIN PAYNE

ROAD TOLL: Po­lice say the de­crease shows the good work be­ing done.

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