Industry is prime mover on safety
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.