Commissioner tells truckies to drive responsibly

Victoria Police deputy commissioner says truck drivers need to take responsibility on the roads to reduce fatalities

By Ruza Zivkusic | February 15, 2011

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe is urging the transport industry to be responsible on the road following this morning’s death of a truck driver in Victoria.

Walshe spoke to ATN following his meeting last week with the members of the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) to discuss ways of reducing road fatalities involving heavy vehicles.

There were 50 fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles last year, resulting in 60 deaths. The number of deaths in 2009 was 40.

A truck driver was killed in a crash on the Hume Freeway at Baddaginnie this morning after another truck driver, who had lost control of his vehicle, crashed into him.

Walshe says more needs to be done to raise awareness of responsible driving.

"Everybody has a personal responsibility," Walshe says.

"The operators have got a responsibility to ensure their operations are conducted in accordance to the legislation and that they are conducted in a safe manner, not only for their own drivers but for the whole motoring public out there.

"The truck drivers have also got a responsibility in how they manage their time and rest period and to make sure they drive within the road rules and that they pay due care to motorists.

"Education is good and if everybody adheres to education then that’d be fantastic but we know in reality that doesn’t happen. So, we’ve got to make sure that our enforcement is appropriate."

Walshe, who was appointed to his role this year, initiated the meeting with the VTA to discuss transport safety and heavy vehicle enforcement issues.

"My concern is the number of fatalities that involve heavy vehicles," he says.

"We saw an increase in heavy vehicle fatalities in 2010. So, I want to have a better understanding of what the causes are and why these things happen.

"I’m having some analysis done on each of the fatal collisions to have a better understanding what the causes are so that we can work out what it is we need to do to reduce road fatalities."

A police unit established late last year is currently recruiting 25 officers to investigate road trauma.

"We believe there’s poor management of truck recruits and scheduling, so this will need to be considered and thought about," Walshe says.

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