Heavy vehicle drivers and other road users are being urged to take care, in the wake of an increase in the number of deaths involving heavy vehicles on Victorian roads this year.
Transport Accident Commission data shows 42 people have tragically been killed in crashes involving heavy vehicles on Victorian roads so far this year, compared with 28 in all of 2018.
Of the fatalities this year, 14 deaths have been truck drivers and their passengers, 16 were other vehicle drivers and their passengers, one bus driver, three motorcyclists, three cyclists and five pedestrians.
Most heavy vehicle drivers and operators do the right thing but there are some of the common factors in heavy vehicle road trauma include speed, fatigue, impaired driving and unroadworthy vehicles.
The Victorian Government continues to work with the industry, investing in programs and initiatives dedicated to improving heavy vehicle safety for all road users.
The Victorian Government is funding a $4 million program to develop a heavy vehicle training program in partnership with the Victorian Transport Association and providers, that will put drivers through their paces to improve driving skills and develop safety-first attitudes.
In addition, an $850,000 road-side fatigue testing trial is currently underway to see if roadside testing for extreme fatigue can be conducted in a similar way to current roadside alcohol and drug testing.
A recent study from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) finding many crashes involving heavy vehicles are caused by other motorists. Road users are reminded of some simple steps that can be taken to be safer around heavy vehicles.
Most trucks have large blind spots, and motorists are encouraged to be aware of where they are and ensure the driver can see you. Trucks take longer to stop, so leaving enough space is vital for safe driving around trucks.
When overtaking a truck, be patient and wait for a safe opportunity. Always be aware of road conditions, travel at an appropriate speed and never overtake a turning truck as heavy vehicles need more space to turn.
For more information on heavy vehicle safety, visit the VicRoads website.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford
“In what has been a tragic year on our roads, we have seen a worrying trend in the number of people dying in crashes involving heavy vehicles and everyone needs to be aware of the risks when driving around trucks.”
“Whether you’re behind the wheel of a truck or sharing the road with one, we all have a responsibility to play our part in keeping each other safe.”