The Australian Trucking Association’s safety truck has hit the road to educate drivers about how to share the road with trucks, after revelations that many light motor vehicle drivers don’t realise what it’s like to drive a heavy vehicle and how dangerous driving around trucks can result in serious crashes.
The association’s chief executive officer Ben Maguire was first to entire the cabin of the Volvo FH Prime mover, the 60,000th truck built at the Wacol, Queensland Volvo plant to be used as the ATA’s safety exhibition.
The vehicle will tow the ATA’s road safety exhibition around Australia.
Mr Maguire explained the need for such a safety initiative,
“Eight out of 10 fatal crashes between trucks and cars are not the fault of the truck driver. As part of our commitment to road safety, the ATA is providing 16-25 year old car drivers and future car drivers with the information they need to stay safe,” Mr Maguire said.
He went on to explain that the Safety Truck’s trailer would go through a re-branding to allow it to better connect with people in the 18 – 25 year old age group.
“1300 people die on Australian roads every year,” he said.
“People are starting to understand that should be zero because there’s a zero tolerance around crashes involving motorists and cars and vulnerable road users.”
He went on to say that more than 30,000 people go through the truck annually and some would have the opportunity to sit in the prime mover’s cab. One of the important safety messages of the truck will be teaching drivers why they should never overtake a turning truck. He went on to state,
“Our visitors find out why car drivers should never try to overtake a turning truck, why you should never cut in front of a truck and the location of a truck’s blind spots,”
“The ATA couldn’t do this work without the support of our foundation sponsors, Volvo, BP and NTI. Volvo Trucks has once again shown its generosity and commitment to road safety by providing us with a prime mover to tow the exhibition. It will continue to be fuelled by BP and insured by NTI,” he said.
Volvo Trucks Australia vice president Mitch Peden also weighed in on the exhibition, saying that Volvo Trucks was proud to support the Safety Truck as part of its defining commitment to road safety.
“The Volvo FH has a host of safety features, including adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning, a driver alert sensing system, a lane departure warning system and lane change support,” he said.
“But these technologies can only go so far. Other road users must understand how trucks perform – and that’s the mission of the Safety Truck.”