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TfNSW emphasises positives from industry engagement approach

Drop in heavy vehicle fatalities seen as vindication of evolving enforcement strategy


Transport for NSW (TfNSW) cites a shift towards an ‘engage and educate’ approach as contributing to recently reported safety gains in the state.

It reports fatalities from heavy vehicle crashes down from 232 to 203 between January and September 2019 compared with the same period in 2018.

The department notes the engage and educate approach used to raise awareness of safety issues around chain of responsibility was helping to increase safety in the freight sector.

How NSW heavy vehicle compliance rose on last year, here

“The freight transport industry is the backbone of the state’s economy, and it is important to keep everyone in the industry informed on safety and regulation,” Transport for NSW executive director insights and engagement Peta Gamon says.

“It is vital freight companies understand their obligations in ensuring the safe movement of goods through realistic delivery times, to reduce the incidence of speeding and fatigue related offences.

“One of the ways Transport for NSW achieves this is by informal discussions at the roadside with drivers and operators about key areas of concern including registration, work diaries, load restraint, vehicle maintenance issues, and carrying and producing permits.

“Talking with drivers and improving their understanding of the vital role they have in road safety is a cornerstone of the approach.”

Through this approach in 2019, TfNSW says work diaries were by far the most discussed issue during roadside intercepts, clocking up more than 1,236 hours of discussion or about 100 hours a month.

Mechanical defects and the role they play in affecting road safety was the second most discussed issue, with around 451 hours of education during the year, or about 37 hours a month.

Other initiatives by the department involve engagement days at heavy vehicle safety stations across the state to inform and educate the freight sector about their role, and the development of a ‘Top 5 Before you drive’ brochure for drivers to ensure safety and compliance.

“We are confident the work being done across Transport for NSW in engagement and education is helping to contribute to ensuring vehicles and drivers are operating safely,” Gamon says.

“We believe that working closely with industry to encourage improved compliance is a key to raising standards across the board.”


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