New heavy vehicle safety plan for Queensland

Action plan covers 31 initiatives to reduce crashes involving heavy vehicles

New heavy vehicle safety plan for Queensland
New report lists heavy vehicle safety initiatives.


The Queensland government has unveiled its Heavy Vehicle Safety Action Plan 2016-18, detailing its focuses over the next two years to reduce heavy vehicle-related accidents.

Created by the Heavy Vehicle Safety Working Group of the Ministerial Freight Council, the plan encompassing 31 initiatives covering local roads, vehicles, speed, fatigue management issues, seatbelts, and driving and driver distractions.

Chaired by Queensland Transport Association CEO Peter Garske, the group includes members of the department of transport and main roads, the Queensland police, Workplace Health & Safety Queensland, and heavy vehicle industry members from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator.

Describing the focuses as ‘key action areas’, Queensland main roads and road safety minister Mark Bailey says crashes are often the result of a combination of factors, and not often the fault of heavy vehicle operators.

"In 2015, heavy vehicles accounted for about 2.3 per cent of all registered vehicles in Queensland, but were involved in 20.2 per cent of all road fatalities," Bailey says.

 "When you add a heavy vehicle into the equation, the size and mass of the vehicle means the outcome is more likely to be tragic.

"In 2015, there were 49 lives lost, and hundreds of people were seriously injured as a result of heavy vehicle involvement in crashes."

Among the initiatives will be an audit of all rest areas in the state, local transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe says, with a look towards fatigue management-related problems.

"A key action will be to audit rest areas across the state and determine where improvements are needed to ensure heavy vehicle drivers can take rest opportunities and comply with fatigue management laws in Queensland," Hinchliffe says.

The body will also look at an increased focus of safe road user behaviour in the heavy vehicle industry, possibly by encouraging companies to include clauses in driver contracts.

Driver behaviour will also focus upon the use of seatbelts, with moves to identify why some drivers ignore them and how this mindset can be altered.

Monitoring the progress, in the short and medium term, will be those involved in the Heavy Vehicle Safety Working Group, the plan says, with progress reports every six months.

The full report is available for download here


The 31 initiatives to be addressed over the two-year period will be:


  • Simplify road assessment guidelines
  • Performance Based Standards route audit between Port of Brisbane and Toowoomba
  • Develop a ‘toolbox’ for road owners/managers for assessing routes for High Productivity Vehicles
  • Continue the roll out of wide centre line treatment on the Bruce Highway and other state-controlled roads
  • Determine whether particular road features have a higher incidence of heavy vehicle crashes
  • Investigate the need for additional emergency stopping bays


  • Actively participate and advocate for advances in safer heavy vehicle technology
  • Provide information to industry regarding changes to Australian Design Rules, industry innovations, technological advances and research findings
  • Circulate regular advice to communicate the importance of fleet safety
  • Actively facilitate the increased use of Performance Based Standards vehicles
  • Continue conducting rigorous audits of operators
  • Encourage and expand the use of vehicle telematics where circumstances permit
  • Develop systems for improved coordination and monitoring of over-dimensional heavy vehicle movements using emerging technologies

Fatigue management

  • TMR to conduct an audit of rest areas
  • Ongoing installation of audio tactile line markers and wide centre lines
  • Identify log book compliance issues and using this information, develop appropriate actions.
  • Continue to upgrade rest areas on state controlled roads
  • Continue the national implementation of electronic work diaries
  • Investigate technology to assist with fatigue detection


  • Identify why some heavy vehicle drivers do not wear seatbelts
  • Promote the use of seatbelt wearing warning devices in heavy vehicles
  • Implement management practices to ensure seatbelt wearing


  • Investigate opportunities for data exchange with stakeholders to assist with enforcement and compliance activities
  • Promote the use of guidelines and other documents where there is a road safety benefit
  • Encourage safe road user behaviours for drivers in commercial contracts
  • Investigate technologies for detecting speed limiter tampering.
  • Issue warning letters to operators whose vehicles are detected exceeding the speed limit by more than 15km/h using telematics

Safer road users

  • Promote the introduction of company drug policies
  • Adopt the WHSQ Framework for alcohol and drug management in the workplace
  • Expand the Queensland Police Service roadside drug testing program
  • Information to employees on the effects of distracting technologies


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