Towards zero accidents and serious injuries
Every driver on Australia’s roads has a family and someone they love waiting for them to walk through the front door at the end of the day.
The trucking industry has seen great improvements in safety, but when we look at road crashes involving any sort of vehicle we can see that 1,225 people didn’t make it home in 2017.
Australians wouldn’t accept this number of deaths if they involved planes or trains. We must not continue accepting these deaths on our roads, either, or the untold number of serious injuries that occur.
With the support of our Foundation Sponsors – BP, NTI and Volvo Trucks – the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and our members have long argued that even one fatality or serious injury on our roads is unacceptable.
We believe that statement of principle must now be formalised in Australia’s national road safety strategy.
That’s why we told the Federal Government’s review into the strategy that Australia should adopt a ‘Towards Zero’ philosophy and set a long-term target of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads.
To get there, governments will need to adopt realistic targets and stick to them. Governments currently set ten-year road-safety targets, but this period is too long. At the start of each ten-year period, it’s easy for everyone to put off making decisions in the belief there is lots of time left. And then there is no time left at all, the goals turn out to be unachievable and the road toll continues.
We told the review that the 10-year targets need to be dropped in favour of more achievable, five-year targets.
At Trucking Australia 2018, to be held in Canberra, 18–20 April, the industry will gather to make plans about how we can improve safety further.
Our safety summit will take a proactive approach to establishing safety solutions.
Delegates will hear from grass-roots operators with real-world driving experience, such as Tim Knowles and Lynley Miners, as well as national safety advocates. Delegates will get to put forward their views and vote on the safety ideas they want the industry to adopt.
The ATA and the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) have developed a Master Code of practice that will aid all businesses in the Chain of Responsibility (CoR) manage risks and improve safety. A team of experts with real industry knowledge will present a workshop on this master code.
This firsthand knowledge and experience will be vital at our fatigue management hackathon, sponsored by Teletrac Navman. The current system used in the eastern states and South Australia minutely prescribes the hours and minutes that drivers can work, but 58 per cent of fatigue-related crashes occur within 500km of the point of departure, well before the end of a driver’s shift.
The hackathon will be an opportunity for drivers, operators and coders to consider innovative ideas for regulation and find a technological solution to help drivers recognise and manage their own personal fatigue, as a voluntary alternative to written work diaries.
It’s notable that safety improvement is front of mind for the future leaders of our industry. The Daimler Truck and Bus Future Leaders’ Forum demonstrates this.
Its participants will develop a number of projects that focus on safety, from improving training and professional development, to expanding stakeholder media strategies to raise awareness of safety and the industry’s image. Delegates will hear more about these projects at Trucking Australia.Across the board, the ATA and its members are working to improve the industry’s safety and the safety of every road user. Trucking Australia is the place to have a say on our safety initiatives, celebrate the industry’s achievements and network with colleagues.
You can register for Trucking Australia at www.truckingaustralia.com.au.