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Prime Mover Magazine

Road safety campaign has a new face

Australian Supercars star and current commentator, Garth Tander, will head a new heavy vehicle safety campaign which encourages all road users to give trucks space.

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the We Need Space campaign would provide advice on how light vehicle drivers should act when they are around trucks.

“Recent research shows that light vehicles cause up to four-out-of-five crashes involving heavy vehicles,” said Petroccitto.

“Being aware of simple safety tips such as a truck’s blind spot, allowing extra distance for a heavy vehicle to brake and the space needed to turn can reduce the risk for all road users.

“Having a driver of the quality of Garth Tander keen to learn more about driving safely around trucks shows that everyone can still learn about driver safety on our roads.

“Across Australia we’ve seen a gradual decline in heavy vehicle fatalities from 220 in 2014 to 177 in 2018, but that figure is still too high.”

Tander was Australian Supercars Champion in 2007, won three Bathurst 1000s at Mount Panorama, and finished first and second in the Bathurst 24hr Race.

He’s joined in the campaign by truck driver Kerri Connors, who was named Tasmania’s best professional truck driver at the Tasmanian Transport Industry awards in October 2018.

Petroccitto said the campaign would include three videos and a range of information and fact sheets for light vehicle drivers.

“It’s important that all road users are aware that a truck is difficult to manoeuvre, it has large blindspots and can have unpredictable traffic coming from behind, alongside and in front,” he said.

“When you add it all together, it really does take a lot of skill for a truck driver to get from point A to point B safely and all road users need to play a role in the safety of that journey.”

The We Need Space Campaign was funded by $250,000 from the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, supported by the Commonwealth Government.

(Image L-R: Truck driver, Kerri Connors, Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Jaala Pulford, racing car driver, Garth Tander and NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto.)

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