SARTA launches heavy vehicle simulator

New technology from the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) will provide learner truck drivers with valuable experience before hitting the road.

The Federal South Australian governments have partnered with SARTA purchase HVSim and a software package worth $450,000.

Final commissioning of the HVSim is underway with the first students expected to start using the technology within a couple of weeks.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, said the cutting-edge simulator would help existing and learner heavy vehicle drivers navigate the South Eastern Freeway descent for example, with a focus on improving safety behind the wheel.

“Truck drivers will undergo training and assessments in the simulator and there is scope for expanding the program to cover other high-risk routes in South Australia and across the country,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“The Australian Government takes road safety seriously because no family should have to endure the devastation caused by road crashes.

“That is why we continue investing in critical initiatives to improve road safety to save lives and reduce road trauma, including across our heavy vehicle sector.”

Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Corey Wingard, said because the HVSim is mounted on a trailer it will be able to travel around the state.

“The HVSim is a safe way for truck drivers of all experience levels to learn or brush up on their skills, including steep descents on roads like the South Eastern Freeway,” said Wingard.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is committed to improving road safety across the state and reduce the trauma caused by accidents and crashes.”

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (HVNR) Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2020 Grant program allocated $350,000 for the technology. The Marshall Government contributed $100,000.

NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the simulator was an example of how the Regulator and SARTA were working with the South Australian and Federal Governments to deliver a great outcome for local heavy vehicle drivers.

“The simulator was partly funded by the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Federal Government, which has delivered $22.8 million across 89 grants in five years,” said Petroccitto.

“Through these grants and with the support of organisations like SARTA and the South Australian Government we can continue to drive down the number of crashes involving heavy vehicles on our roads.”

SARTA President, Sharon Middleton, said the industry was very excited about the delivery of the HV Simulator Project.

“The improvements that it will provide in skills development, training on challenging routes and in research into fatigue management and other issues, will benefit the trucking industry and all road users,” said Middleton.

“SARTA welcomes the very substantial support of the Federal and State Governments in providing funding without which the industry would not be able to get this important safety initiative off the ground.”