Call for balanced media reporting on truck accidents

By: Greg Bush

Trans-Help Foundation calls for mainstream media to present balanced reports on truck accidents

Call for balanced media reporting on truck accidents
Call for balanced media reporting on truck accidents
By Greg Bush | January 11, 2009

Following another fatality involving a truck on January 5, Dianne Carroll, CEO of the Trans-Help Foundation is pleading with the mainstream media to give careful consideration to all involved when reporting of such tragic incidents.

Carroll says an initial report in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph detailed an accident on the Newell Highway on January 5, which resulted in a multiple fatality, had stated that "a truck had slammed into a car".

A similar report was published in another News Limited publication, the Macarthur Chronicle, following at accident that occurred near Bateman’s Bay the previous week.

"Trans-Help supports drivers and families following accidents and continuously sees the additional trauma these reports have on the families," Carroll says.

"The media may want to get sales for their stories, but this despicable reporting is causing further trauma and distress to the families involved in such incidents.

"Until a full investigation is complete, nobody knows the cause.

"The constant false reporting of a truck driver being at fault is detrimental to the transport industry and it is time the Australian Communication and Media Authority enforced regulations to ban journalists from reporting such information," she says.

Carroll cited a statement on the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government website that says of all fatalities resulting from a crash on Australian roads, one in five crashes involves a truck.

Trucks are also involved in 10 per cent of serious injury crashes. However, for most of these fatalities and serious injuries, the truck driver is not at fault. In fact, car drivers were primarily responsible for 5 out of 6 crashes involving an articulated truck, and 2 out of 3 crashes involving a rigid truck.

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