SA campaign aims to increase motorists' awareness of trucks

New road safety campaign will provide information to motorists on sharing the road safely with trucks

April 16, 2013

A new road safety campaign aimed to increase South Australian motorists’ awareness about sharing the road with heavy vehicles has been launched.

The Share the Road campaign hopes to educate drivers how to safely overtake trucks and maintain safe travelling distances.

Information on following a truck too closely, unsafe speeds, overtaking, driving between large trucks and changing lanes abruptly, is being featured.

The South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) has together with the transport industry produced two educational media clips that inform motorists on safe driving and overtaking trucks.

Figures on heavy vehicle crashes show transport operators are responsible for just one in four fatal crashes involving a passenger vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist, according to the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA).

SARTA Executive Director Steve Shearer says trucks are too often blamed for a collision with a car, cyclist or pedestrian.

"For the five years from 2008 to 2012, there were 77 fatal crashes involving heavy vehicles of which 86 percent involved in a light vehicle, pedestrian or cyclist," Shearer says.

"The heavy vehicle driver was deemed responsible in just 26 percent of these crashes."

He says it takes a heavy vehicle driver at least 200 metres to stop even when driving defensively.

"The trauma when a collision does occur is often felt just as much by the helpless heavy vehicle driver as it is by the family, friends and community of those who have been killed or injured," Shearer says.

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