In­dus­try is prime mover on safety

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

DRIV­ERS can get a truck­ies-eye-view of the haz­ards they face on a daily ba­sis to cre­ate a greater aware­ness of how to share the road safely with heavy ve­hi­cles.

The Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion’s Safety Truck ar­rived in Kew­dale last week to start an eightweek tour through WA, vis­it­ing metropoli­tan and coun­try lo­ca­tions.

Vis­i­tors to the Safety Truck ex­hibit are able to sit in the prime mover cab and ben­e­fit from the truck driver’s per­spec­tive.

“Truck­ies’ top tips such as not cut­ting in front of trucks, not over­tak­ing turn­ing trucks, and avoid­ing truck blind spots then have an im­me­di­ate and last­ing ef­fect,” driver Glen Sch­midtke said.

He said many young driv­ers were not specif­i­cally taught how to drive safely around heavy ve­hi­cles.

“It’s not in­cluded in your L or P plate tests,” he said.

“Like­wise you can hook up and tow a car­a­van with­out any ad­di­tional train­ing re­quire­ment on how to man­age the in­creased load along­side other ve­hi­cles, and es­pe­cially on roads fre­quented by heavy ve­hi­cles.

“With WA home to some very big truck­ing com­bi­na­tions, and the largest num­ber of reg­is­tered car­a­vans and camper trail­ers per capita, the skillset is more im­por­tant than ever.”

WA Road Safety Com­mis­sioner Kim Pa­palia wel­comed the initiative.

“This is a great op­por­tu­nity for gen­eral road users to gain an un­der­stand­ing of the length of heavy haulage ve­hi­cles and their brak­ing ca­pac­ity be­fore they at­tempt to over­take them, as well as the vis­i­bil­ity and ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity lim­i­ta­tions of a truck,” Mr Pa­palia said.

“All road users need to share re­spon­si­bil­ity to de­crease road trauma.”

Re­cent statis­tics re­leased by the Na­tional Truck Ac­ci­dent Re­search Cen­tre re­vealed that in col­li­sions be­tween cars and trucks in­volv­ing fa­tal­i­ties, the truck was not at fault 84 per cent of the time.

This week the truck will be vis­it­ing schools in Cottes­loe, Leem­ing and Melville and will be on dis­play at the Skills West Expo at the Perth Con­ven­tion Cen­tre over the week­end and Con­tarf Abo­rig­i­nal Col­lege next Tues­day.

Driver Glen Sch­midtke will drive the Safety Truck around WA.

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