A shocking rise in road deaths involving trucks in New South Wales has seen the truck industry's peak body call upon government and industry stakeholders to improve road safety measures.
The Truck Industry Council (TIC) has backed calls by the Toll Group's Managing Director, Michael Byrne, for the federal government to create incentives for trucking businesses to upgrade to new, safer trucks.
Road deaths involving trucks in NSW rose from 29 to 54 in 2017 – an increase of 86 per cent.
TIC President, Phil Taylor, is dismayed at the result and wants the government to make modernising Australia's truck fleet a budget priority for the government.
“Increasing the take-up rate of today’s more advanced trucks means everyone benefits from our roads being populated with safer fleets.
“Having been around trucks and the Australian road transport industry since the late seventies, I can verify that significant improvements have been made in regard to truck and road safety.
“We must push towards zero deaths on our roads, truck related or otherwise, and as an industry collective, we must believe we can achieve that,” Mr Taylor said.
Some 42 per cent of Australia's truck fleet was manufactured before 2003. With increasing demand for freight the average age of that truck fleet will only increase. That means a large proportion of trucks on the road are missing out on the benefits of the safety technology that comes standard in modern trucks. Systems such as stability control systems, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and adaptive cruise control (ACC) make modern trucks much safer for drivers and other road users.
“The choice is not whether Australia uses trucks – they’re essential to our standard of living – the choice is whether we have the most modern fleets possible,” Mr Taylor said.
“Australia can have safer trucks on the road, or we can continue with an older fleet.”
“TIC believes the implementation of an incentivised system, which rewards safe and modern fleets, is the most proactive and cost-effective mechanism for lowering Australia’s road toll,” Mr Taylor said.
“We must act now. This is about creating a safe, productive and robust road transport industry, but most importantly, it’s about ensuring that no more Australian families are torn apart by largely preventable road crashes and fatalities.”
If you run a trucking business then you owe it to yourself, your drivers and other road users to ensure you're operating the safest and most efficient trucks available. So if your vehicles are getting on in years why not contact Fleetcare today about the best way to update your fleet?