Road toll still high after drop
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”
ROAD TOLL: Police say the decrease shows the good work being done.