TOWARDS A HEAVY VEHICLE SAFETY STRATEGY
The draft National Road Safety Strategy sets an overall target for reducing the road toll by 2010, but does not specify targets for reductions in crashes involving trucks and buses. This paper describes the formulation of a Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy. Only marginal improvements in heavy vehicle safety have occurred since the early 1990s and substantial increases in heavy vehicle traffic are forecast. Consequently, the overall burden of heavy vehicle crashes may increase. The aim of the strategy will be to reduce both fatal crashes and crashes involving serious injuries, where a truck or bus is involved.
The strategy is to be jointly developed by the National Road Transport Commission (NRTC), Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Department of Transport and Regional Services (DoTRS), industry representatives and State and Territory government agencies. The strategy will be research based and will review both Australian and overseas initiatives to improve heavy vehicle safety. Consultations and negotiations will form a vital part to acceptance of the strategy, which will incorporate both an action plan and a research plan.
Formulating the strategy is in its very early days, but is expected to provide a significant plank in support of the draft National Road Safety Strategy.