Safety plan in the works says Govt and industry

IN THE shadow of a devastating week for the road transport industry the NSW Government and the trucking industry have vowed to work together on truck safety.  

In a statement released by the ATA, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey said industry has the expertise, knowledge and understanding to improve safety and productivity for heavy vehicles and in turn for all motorists.   

"The issue of heavy vehicle safety is one that is being addressed nationally, and all states are working together through forums such as the Transport and Infrastructure Council to address this issue," Mrs Pavey said.  

"We are also making sure that safety is a shared responsibility for all parties in the road transport supply chain. We all have a responsibility to prevent safety breaches and ensure our roads are safe.  

"I am looking forward to continuing these very positive discussions."  

Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire said the NSW Government was listening to the industry on safety.   "We have put forward a broad-ranging plan, including better road crash investigation, more consultation on telematics, a focus on building safety features into roads and improvements to both car and truck driver training," Mr Maguire said.

  "We will meet again this week to talk about the truck technology now available. We all recognise, though, that the safety discussion needs to include an understanding of what has caused the increase in truck-related fatalities. This is now squarely on the agenda."  

Livestock, Bulk and Rural Carriers Association COO Bec Coleman said that Minister Pavey had opened her doors to the LBRCA to better understand the industry and the problems it faced.   

"On the back of this dialogue we have seen Minister Pavey kick start many safety-focused initiatives, including an increase to the number of drug tests carried out roadside and more funding to the NSW Crashlab to promote safer vehicles," Ms Coleman said.  

Road Freight NSW CEO Simon O'Hara welcomed the Government's willingness to look at the causes of the increase in multi-vehicle crashes involving trucks.  

"Our urban member businesses are especially concerned about multi-vehicle crashes, which are very often not the fault of the truck driver. These have spiked over the last year, and we need to know why," Mr O'Hara said.  

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