ATA's Coonan goes global

Truck lobby's chief policy wonk will head to the US to deliver speeches on heavy vehicle combinations and road safety

February 4, 2011

The Australian Trucking Association’s chief policy wonk is heading to the US to sell the benefits of road train combinations and speak about heavy vehicle safety.

ATA national policy manager Dave Coonan will present two speeches to staff and students of the University of Michigan’s Transport Research Unit on February 22 and 23.

Coonan’s first address will cover innovative truck combinations such as BAB quads and AB triples, which he says the university is interested in.

"To many in the US, the road train is an iconic symbol of the Australian trucking industry. I’ll be showing staff and students at UMTRI how we are working to improve on the classic design of the road train to improve safety and efficiency in the Australian market," Coonan says.

"The new innovative combinations the ATA are promoting are safer by design than traditional road trains, because their road stability is much better."

Coonan’s second address will cover the ATA’s proposed ‘safe systems approach’, which Coonan says recognises that drivers make mistakes.

"As a result, the ATA is urging transport authorities to use the five key points of safer roads, safer drivers, safer trucks, safer companies and safer customers when planning transport systems," he says.

"The opportunity to speak at UMTRI is a great honour and shows the work the ATA is doing to improve safety on Australia’s roads is being recognised by leaders in transport safety internationally.

Coonan will also use his trip to the US to attend the American Trucking Association’s Technical and Maintenance Conference.

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