Blitz results revealed as VTA backs shared safety campaign

By: Mark Gojszyk

Shared responsibility message follows October’s blitz announcement

Blitz results revealed as VTA backs shared safety campaign
Peter Anderson


Victoria’s road safety efforts around informing motorists of their responsibilities around trucks have received the state’s peak transport body’s backing.

The campaign, launched by the Victorian government, follows the announcement of a heavy vehicle safety blitz in October in a double effort to address the state's elevated road toll in 2019.

An ATN enquiry reveales 28 combinations were inspected as part of the operation, resulting in one unlicensed operator breach and two major and two minor defects around issues of "draw bar defect requiring replacement, seat belts, air bags, suspension, tyres, marker plates and body damage".

No curfew breaches were identified.

The 'crackdown' may not have been as extensive as the original statement foreshadowed, however, a government spokesperson adds there were "two company follow-ups for the unlicensed breach and lack of maintenance systems".

It comes as the Victorian Transport Association (VTA) was one of several transport industry stakeholders to participate in a public call to action at the weekend for motorists to be more vigilant about road safety around heavy vehicles.

More on Victoria's road safety call to action, here

VTA CEO Peter Anderson joined Victorian Roads and Road Safety Minister Jaala Pulford and Transport Accident Commission CEO Joe Calafiore to remind motorists that road safety is a shared obligation.

Almost one in six (17.1 per cent) of every road death has involved a heavy vehicle and the number of single vehicle truck driver deaths is around five times higher than the five-year average, VTA notes.

"While most operators do the right thing, there are some common factors in heavy vehicle road trauma including speed, fatigue, impaired driving and unroadworthy vehicles," Anderson says.

"Conversely, motorcycle and passenger vehicle drivers must be mindful that trucks have large blind spots and take longer to stop, which is a likely factor in a recent NHVR study that found many crashes involving heavy vehicles are caused by other motorists."

Anderson adds that with the industry on the cusp of its busiest time of the year, it is important that every driver and road transport operator continue to put safety first.

"The roads will be increasingly busy in the lead-up to Christmas and demands from customers will also escalate.

"However, no delivery or collection is worth the loss of life or injury, which is worth remembering if drivers are running behind schedule."


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