A police report revealed that NSW truck deaths have increased by a shocking 86 per cent in last 12 months.
According to the report, in the 12 months to September, fatalities have increased from 29 to 54. This is the greatest increase seen since 2009.
The statistics were released by the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) who highlighted that deaths involving articulated trucks were a major concern as these vehicles are the largest on the road.
Almost half of all truck fatalities in the state involved articulated trucks, making it the largest contributor to the national road death toll. The statistics showed that the national death toll on the road rose drastically over the period.
NSW has a lot to work on when it comes to improving heavy vehicle safety given that it was the only state to experience an increase in fatalities.
Victoria’s rate fell by 4.5 per cent and Queensland’s by 14.8 per cent.
Fatal accidents involving heavy rigid trucks also increased by 6.3 per cent during the 12 month period. NSW Police attributed the increase to a rise in heavy vehicle traffic on the roads connected to major construction projects.
Ben Maguire, chief executive of the Australian Trucking Association, said he had witnessed safety breaches involving trucks working on the state government’s WestConnex project.
“I did a roadside blitz with the police and the condition of some of those vehicles was outrageous,” he said.
“There were vehicles that had speed limiters deactivated which had recorded significant speeds that day.” he explained.
The Transport Workers Union also described the statistics as shocking with its National Secretary, Tony Sheldon saying3 the statistics were shocking. He highlighted the financial burdens on truck drivers which was leading them to neglect vehicle maintenance and engage in risky road behaviour.
“This pressure is coming from the top of the supply chain – the wealthy retailers, manufacturers and state governments involved in waste and infrastructure projects, which are continually driving down transport costs,” he said.
Another issue that the statistics have highlighted are training standards which need to be addressed. There have been concerns that drivers aren’t receiving the proper training.
These shocking revelations make clear the importance of driver training but also the importance of Chain of Responsibility for everyone in the road transport chain.
To find out more about Chain of Responsibility training and who it applies to visit www.coraustralia.com