Investing in safety projects for the future

In the last ten years, we have significantly matured in our understanding of heavy vehicle road safety and the importance of positive physical and mental health across the supply chain, helping to drive better outcomes.

An example of a program that helps deliver key safety improvements is the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) program – funding crucial projects that deliver tangible improvements in road and heavy vehicle safety.

The grant program is administered by the NHVR and supported by the Federal Government, and over six project rounds, $28 million has been invested to support 117 HVSI projects.

These projects are undertaken by industry, for industry. After all, there is no one better to identify what heavy vehicle safety projects are most needed than the industry and supply chain.

One of the areas I am most pleased to see funding directed to is improving mental health outcomes and we have seen a significant increase in applications over recent years to support this important safety issue.

We have also seen grants improve safety outcomes such as education, training and technology across a range of other critical areas including agriculture, livestock and rural freight and fatigue.

Through the success of HVSI, we have seen an increase in awareness and greater dissemination of safety and compliance information such as correct load restraint rules and industry’s obligations as part of Chain of Responsibility (CoR).

For example, Grain Producers SA’s CoR project delivered highly effective training to 500 primary producers, which resulted in participants making changes to their business, and implementing CoR training materials. I’m pleased to announce applications are now open for Round 7 of HVSI funding.

This round will distribute an additional $5.5 million in funding to enable the industry to continue to prioritise safety projects for the future.

If you’re interested in delivering a project, campaign, or educational materials that aligns with the theme of ‘safer drivers, vehicles and road use’ and will increase road and heavy vehicle safety, we want to hear from you. To be eligible for funding, projects must be implementable, commence in the 2021-22 financial year and be completed by 30 June 2025.

I look forward to seeing the newest intake of submissions, and continuing the important work with governments and stakeholder groups to ensure heavy vehicles and those that operate them travel safely and arrive safely. I am also pleased that the NHVR has published its Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy 2021 – 25, together with the first of a yearly Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy Action Plan.

Both are aimed at helping to reduce the number of road traumas and fatalities that occur on our roads each year.

The Strategy has three main objectives including creating positive change in individual behaviours and foster a culture to improve safety, drive uptake of a modern, safety heavy vehicle fleet that reduces the likelihood and impact of crashes and influence road network design to support safe heavy vehicle use.

The NHVR’s risk-based approach to compliance and enforcement is a key part of the strategy and action plan and we will continue to move beyond traditional compliance and enforcement approaches and adopt tailored regulatory activities proportionate to the safety risk.

Improved safety is always the ultimate goal, and initiatives such as the HVSI, combined with a collaborative Safety Strategy, will stand us in good stead to continue to be part of a safe, productive and efficient industry well into the future.

For more information or to view the HVSI Submission Guidelines visit: www.nhvr.gov.au/hvsi Further information on the NHVR’s Safety Strategy and Action Plan is available at: www.nhvr.gov.au.

Sal Petroccitto
CEO, NHVR

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