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Prime Mover Magazine

ATA welcomes funding for Volvo Safety Truck

New funds announced by the Australian Government for the Volvo Safety Truck have been welcomed by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA).

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack today confirmed $400,000 of funding will go towards the Volvo Safety Truck with Volvo Group President and CEO Martin Merrick and ATA CEO Ben Maguire.

Updates to a road safety exhibition which has been in operation since 2008 and a resign of the truck will take priority.

The aim of the Safety Truck and campaign will be to deliver an engaging hands-on experience that puts young road users in a virtual driver’s seat to experience the realities of truck driving.

Part of the experience is geared around keeping safe around trucks while on the road.

Small group presentations will support campaign and reinforce safety messages and drive behavioural change.

The Safety Truck will travel Australia-wide to visit career expos, high schools, TAFE colleges and universities, key road safety events and other events that specifically engage the target audience.

“Deputy Prime Minister McCormack understands the importance of road safety and our common vision of zero fatal or serious injury crashes on our roads. I am delighted to accept the funding, knowing that it will save lives,” said ATA CEO Ben Maguire.

“The new campaign will specifically target 16 to 25 year old drivers and vulnerable road users, as they are over-represented in crash statistics,” he said.

Official estimates cited by the ATA show that about 80 per cent of fatal multi-vehicle crashes involving trucks are not the fault of the truck driver.

Of the casualty crashes reported with trucks 25 per cent involve drivers 26 years of age or younger despite only representing less than 15 per cent of the driver population.

The project will be headed up by ATA’s award-winning Safety and Skills Adviser, Melissa Weller.

“The refreshed Safety Truck will deliver its messages through videos, virtual reality and small group presentations. It will focus on truck blind spots, stopping distances, overtaking procedures and the risks associated with driver, pedestrian and cyclist distraction,” said Weller.

Weller said the project would be supported by ongoing research and evaluation.  

“We are going to work with academic road safety researchers to design and implement a study that will assess road safety trends and allow us to measure the impact of the Safety Truck on on-road behaviour and statistics,” she said.

The refurbishment will commence in June 2019, with the new truck and campaign to be launched in conjunction with the ATA’s 30th anniversary celebrations in October 2019.

The design phase of the project commenced in September 2018 and was funded internally by the ATA following research that started last February.

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