Bicycle NSW in heavy vehicle safety campaign


Group calls for safety tech uptake and hails progressive trucking firms

Bicycle NSW in heavy vehicle safety campaign
Bicycle NSW endorsed Bendigo's Powers Country Express for its safety awareness afforts

 

Bicycle NSW has launched a campaign calling for improved heavy vehicle safety standards to protect vulnerable road users following an increase in pedestrian and rider fatalities involving trucks.

Its campaign has been launched in response to data showing the deaths of two motorbike riders and nine pedestrians in heavy vehicle crashes in the past year, and fatalities rising for vulnerable road users despite overall heavy vehicle fatalities trending downwards.

The peak body is also concerned about increased numbers of construction projects in many parts of NSW requiring more heavy vehicle movements.

"The purpose of the campaign is to make heavy vehicles safer, to seek federal government support for improved national regulation, and to help with the costs of upgrading trucks," it says. 

Its campaign for technical and behavioural improvements to heavy vehicle safety includes:

  • the federal government to compel existing heavy vehicle operators to adopt safety systems, such as side under-run protection, blind-spot sensors, to protect people and to assist small operators to meet the costs of compliance existing vehicles – within three years.
  • the federal government to set standards that compel operators to move to high visibility trucks – especially in urban areas
  • anyone with an interest in safer streets to have their say on the Heavy Vehicle National Law Review
  • promoting operators it deems as best-practice and challenging others to upgrade their vehicles

The organisation is particularly focusing on the uptake of side underrun protection to protect vulnerable road users from slipping sideways under the wheels of trucks and trailers if a collision occurs, citing the likes of Ron Finemore, Linfox, Coles, Australia Post and Woolworths as companies that have been using the products in their fleet.

"We know heavy vehicle drivers do not want to kill people and we applaud the operators who have voluntarily fitted safety systems to their vehicles," Bicycle NSW general manager of public affairs Bastien Wallace says.

"We are calling on everyone to help make heavy vehicles safer."

BEST-PRACTICE OPERATORS

Bicycle NSW lauded Bendigo company Powers Country Express, which in 2018 ran a bike laws awareness campaign on its heavy vehicles.

"Our staff are long term employees and we put an emphasis on being safe, responsible and not rushing while on the road," Bicycle NSW quotes Powers Country Express director Damien Power as saying. 

The company is currently working with the local council about raising awareness of issues between heavy vehicles and young drivers (16-25).


Read more about that campaign involving the Bendigo Council, here


"Bicycle NSW applauds the safety investments heavy vehicle companies make on behalf of their local communities and the areas they drive through,"Bicycle NSW communications manager Kim Lavender says.

Wallace adds: "This is a chance to highlight best practice and acknowledge operators who have prioritised road safety, as well as to show how many need a scheme to help meet the cost of upgrades."

 

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