VTA urges motorists to show courtesy towards trucks

Photography by: Greg Bush

With last year’s road toll already exceeded in 2014, stakeholders look to the interaction between trucks and cars in Victoria.

VTA urges motorists to show courtesy towards trucks
Police, VicRoads and the VTA are urging greater on-road co-operation between heavy vehicles and commuter traffic.


The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) has made a public plea for greater on-road co-operation between heavy vehicles and commuter traffic.

It is urging motorists to consider the braking distance that trucks require, as well as the significant blind spots that heavy vehicle drivers contend with.

"In many instances, drivers and the dashboard cameras installed in heavy vehicles are capturing motorists cutting too close in front of trucks when entering the road or changing lanes," VTA CEO Peter Anderson told a panel discussion on 3AW Radio yesterday.

"This can be extremely dangerous. The distance it takes a truck to come to a stop is a much greater distance than that of a car, due to the sheer weight and size of these heavy vehicles."

Anderson was joined by VicRoads CEO John Merritt and acting assistant commissioner for Victoria Police Neville Taylor on the popular Neil Mitchell program.

All stakeholders agreed that more attention needed to be paid to the interaction between regular motorists and trucks on the state’s roads.

"As a community, we need to be more mature in understanding the role a truck plays on the road and we need to respect trucks on the road," Merritt says.

"We also fully expect truck drivers to be considerate of other road users. However, we are seeing a lot of examples of risk taking and poor decisions by car drivers when they mix with trucks."

Taylor says pinned most of the blame for accidents on motorists.

"More often than not, it is high risk behaviour by other (non-truck) road users that is causing accidents," he says.

The rare triumvirate of road industry stakeholders says it came together to develop positive and inclusive messages on road safety.

It says that while heavy vehicles are involved with a large percentage of Victorian road fatalities, it is rarely the truck driver at fault.

"The VTA appreciates that interacting with heavy vehicles on the road can be daunting, but there is no reason why heavy vehicles and other motorists can not share the road safely and efficiently," Anderson says.

"With the freight task set to double by the year 2020, it is vital that all motorists are considerate of heavy vehicles and the vital role they play in society when interacting with them on the road."

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