The point needs to be made and reinforced that safety continues to drive our industry, writes Sal Petroccitto, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator CEO.
As I have met with customers and stakeholders, I have reflected on the impact that innovation is having across our industry and the pace of change in which we operate. Whether you’re a driver, operator, part of a supply chain or in another role, it’s an exciting time to be part of our future and I’m proud to be involved in an industry playing a vital role in keeping Australia moving.
Events like the Brisbane Truck Show are a positive indication that we’re getting back to somewhat of a ‘normal life’ again – and that means more and more vehicles have returned to our roads.
A priority for the NHVR is the health and safety of our drivers and the communities in which we live and operate. To support this focus, the NHVR is undertaking two major campaigns.
We unveiled the latest version of our We Need Space to Keep You Safe campaign, with an emphasis on general motorists giving truck drivers the space they need to manoeuvre their vehicles.
It’s a simple message with an important meaning, and one that the NHVR is delighted to be partnering with Coles, together with the Toll and Linfox fleets.
The campaign focusses on three key messages, targeted at general motorists:
– Don’t overtake a turning truck
– Keep out of truck blind spots
– Overtake trucks safely.
To promote the messages broadly, the NHVR has produced a series of community service announcements and educational resources to support general motorist education across state and territory partners.
Additionally, some Toll and Linfox trucks are displaying imagery on the sides of their vehicles, acting as a giant moving visual reminder of the We Need Space messages for drivers when they’re travelling close by.
A small behavioural change around trucks can lead to improved safety for all drivers and I want to thank everyone involved in this campaign, particularly the Toll and Linfox drivers who added their voice and experience to the community safety announcements, together with V8 Supercars Driver and We Need Space ambassador, Garth Tander.
The more we can promote a message to give each other space, the more we can keep each other safe, and I encourage you to take a look at the campaign and help spread the word, at www.weneedspace.com.au
Another key campaign underway is a focus on engine remapping.
Engine remapping is illegal under the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL), with research showing up to 60 times more pollutants can be released into the atmosphere if a heavy vehicle’s engine is remapped.* This statistic is completely avoidable and further, this is an issue that can cause long-term harm to the environment, communities, workplaces and individuals.
Since 2010, all new trucks sold in Australia have been required to meet Euro 5 Vehicle Emission Standards. This was good policy then and remains so now, with the NHVR continuing to work alongside stakeholders to look at increasing standards in the future, leading to positive measures to decrease emissions.
Over the next few months, our engine remapping campaign will focus on increased education and compliance across the industry. With over 40,000 owners and operators and in excess of half a million heavy vehicles, the opportunity to be even more sustainable is significant.
Thank you in advance for helping support these important measures and campaigns – ultimately designed to keep you, your colleagues and your families safe. The NHVR will continue to focus on delivering ways of improving safe working environments across the industry, together with communicating with the public on practising safety around heavy vehicles.
* Australian Bureau of Statistics January 2017 Motor Vehicle Census