Holiday periods like Easter, according to National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO, Sal Petroccitto, are an important time to focus on safety for anyone travelling on Australian roads.
“Bringing heavy vehicles, light vehicles, caravans and bikes together on our roads during this particularly busy period means the potential for accidents to occur increases,” he said.
“It’s important that we all make safety a priority during the holidays so we can ensure everyone travelling on our roads returns home safely,” said Petroccitto.
More than 80 per cent of multi-vehicle crashes are caused by the light vehicle driver.
“This is why we have urged that everyone in the heavy vehicle industry share some simple safety messages with their mates during these holiday periods, as they can save lives,” said Petroccitto.
“Again, it’s vital that we spread the word — don’t linger in a truck’s blind spot, cut in front of a truck, or park in truck bays.
“If you know of a mate who is taking their caravan out, let them know about the importance of leaving rest stops free for heavy vehicle drivers who need to manage their fatigue.”
The same applies to learner drivers and newly licenced P platers who Petroccitto hopes will, with some urging, become aware of the NHVR’s Don’t #uck with a Truck campaign.
“If they’ve been driving for years, they still might not know that trucks have four blind spots, so send them to our We Need Space campaign and explain where heavy vehicle blind spots are and how they can make it easier for you by avoiding those areas,” he said.
More generally, it’s about making other road-users truck aware.
This means leaving space for trucks to stop and turn and only overtaking or merging when there is a long stretch of road, with full visibility.
The following simple messages should be shared with friends and family according to Petroccitto:
• Can you see a truck’s mirrors?
• Leave truck bays clear for truck drivers to rest
• Leave extra space for a heavy vehicle to turn
• Don’t steal the space in front of a heavy vehicle
• Drive to the conditions around heavy vehicles
“This advice isn’t new, but it remains critical, and we know the message can really sink in when you – a member of the trucking community – talk about your first-hand experiences on the roads,” he said.
“The more your mates understand the safety issues heavy vehicle drivers face each day, the more they can do to prevent incidents from occurring,” continued Petroccitto.
“So please share these reminders with friends, family and colleagues, and keep an eye on our social media channels for more information. Stay safe.”