We can't publish cause of truck accidents, Nash told

Senator questions why the causes of truck accidents aren't published, saying everyone assumes the heavy vehicle is always at fault

By Brad Gardner | May 31, 2010

A senator has questioned why the causes of heavy vehicle accidents are not published to end the assumption the truck driver is always at fault.

During budget estimates hearings last week, Senator Fiona Nash asked if the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government attributed responsibility for incidents when publishing road statistics.

"When we have truck accidents, it certainly seems like everyone assumes that the truck is the cause of the accident, just in general layman’s terms," Nash says.

But while saying governments keep a database on the causes of accidents, Road Safety and Programs General Manager Joe Motha says information is not published because it is not current.

"One of the issues with causality is that in the coroner’s database there is a time lag because the coroner’s reports typically take about two to three years to be finalised and therefore there is always a time lag between the data that is available," he says.

"There is what we call a fatal file that has coroners’ data in it and analysis of that database can tell you who is at fault in many cases."

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