Safety Summit

First Heavy Vehicle Road Safety Summit in Melbourne a Success

Safety Summit

Source: Prime Mover

The first ever Improving Heavy Vehicle Road Safety Summit has been held in Melbourne and was a huge success.

More than 150 industry professionals attended the summit in an effort to tackle transport safety.

The official host of the 2 day event was Dr Peter Hart, Chairman of ARTSA. Dr Hart explained the importance of the event, especially considering that more than 200 people were killed on Australian roads in the previous financial year due to heavy vehicle crashes.

Dr Hart said that one of the most eye-opening revelations of the summit was that there was a serious lack of education and training in the industry, on the subject.

In light of this, NTC CEO Paul Retter is advocating for the general public to be educated on how to share the road safely with heavy vehicles.

In an article on Carl Johan Almgvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director at Volvo Trucks in Sweden, stated that there was technology available that could make for an instant safety improvement. He cautioned that we need more training and education first because without it, even the most advanced technology wouldn’t be effective.

Mr Almqvist explained:

“It’s always a two-fold approach. First we need to learn to always wear a seatbelt before we can discuss mandating Collision Warning Emergency Braking systems,” said Almqvist. 


Other attendees of the conference such as PBS expert, Rob di Cristoforo, said that OEMs need to lay the right foundation before adding other safety technology. He explained:

“Especially in PBS design, you need to get the basics right before you rely on technology. There is some great tech out there but we need to start at the beginning.”


Gerard Waldron, Managing Director at Melbourne’s ARRB Group, also explained the importance of introducing the technology to heavy vehicles. He said failing to act would cost more than it would to fit the technologies. He stated:

“cost of doing nothing” to improve safety is between $2.3 and $4.2 billion over the coming decade.

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A BP expert said that training and technology were equally important in reducing heavy vehicle crashes on our roads. George Roberts, BP’s ‎General Manager responsible for Depots & Logistics explained that we need to raise awareness of all road users on how to share the road with trucks, and we need to ensure all drivers understand and respect road hazards better.

He went on to emphasize BP’s commitment and focus on safety in all areas of operation. He also explained that this was why the organisation was so committed to providing extensive training to its drivers so that safety standards can be adhered to. He also highlighted the importance of continued investment in training and education in the future.

The Melbourne Summit was a prelude to the 2015 VTA State Conference which will run from 24 to 26 May. Further discussions on road safety, managing costs and increasing productivity will take place at the VTA Conference.