The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has urged the Australian Government’s National Road Safety Council to employ the safe systems approach as it plans new road safety measures.
Speaking to the council this week, ATA chief executive Stuart St Clair told the council the safe systems approach would ensure the best possible outcomes for all roads users.
The council was established last year to advise government on the development of the next 10-year National Road Safety Strategy, which will set a long-term vision for road safety improvements and adopt explicit national targets.
Stuart said the safe systems approach recognises that all drivers make mistakes and we should be building systems to reduce the number of errors, as well as minimising the consequences of accidents when they occur.
“Statistics show 75 per cent of accidents involving articulated trucks are not the fault of the heavy vehicle driver, so measures to improve the safety of motorists generally will reduce the number of truck accidents.
“We need to look at every aspect of road safety, that’s why the safe systems approach is based around the elements of safer roads, safer trucks, safer truck drivers, safer road users generally and safer companies and customers.
“By looking at ways of improving each of these elements, the Australian Government can make significant difference to safety on our roads.
“Increasing the number of divided highways, building more rest areas and ensuring that intersections are suitable for heavy vehicles are simple ways to make our roads safer, whilst encouraging companies to update their vehicles and supporting the use of longer and safer trucks can make our fleets safer.
“The ATA’s enhanced truck driver licensing proposal is one way the government can make our drivers safer, while extending the requirements that trucks drivers face, such as 0.02 BAC and point-to-point speed cameras, will make other road users safer as well.
“Meanwhile, the ATA is also calling for the upcoming national heavy vehicle regulator to have a strong focus on Chain of Responsibility enforcement, and we are asking the regulator to encourage the use of safety accreditation systems such as the ATA’s TruckSafe program.
“The trucking industry has made massive improvements in safety in the last 20 years, but only through a nationally consistent approach can we continue to reduce accidents on our roads and ensure that every road user gets home safely.”