We Need Space campaign teams up with Coles for safety

Safe-driving message to be in motorists’ faces on Linfox and Toll trailers

We Need Space campaign teams up with Coles for safety
L to R: Toll driver Joe Lanza, NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto, Supercar champion Garth Tander and Linfox drivers Mick Ross and Racheal Topp

The next step for truckings’ We Need Space effort will see the message given a higher profile using vehicles servicing Coles’ transport needs.

The campaign aims to educate all road users about how to share the road safely with heavy vehicles.

The trailer billboards will urge road users to refrain from straying into heavy vehicle blind spots and will communicate important messages educating motorists on how to overtake trucks safely and avoid overtaking turning trucks.

Linfox and Toll trailers are to be used as giant, travelling billboards in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria.

The new move emerges at a Victorian Transport Association-hosted event featuring partners Linfox, Toll and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR).

The campaign was unveiled two years ago, spearheaded by former Supercars star and current commentator Garth Tander, who was in attendance today, and high-profile truck driver Kerri Connors.

Tander will front related community service announcements produced by the NHVR, which is financing the campaign and will also support driver-education programs and its state and territory transport authority partners.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto hails the partnership with Coles, saying We Need Space was a great example of the regulator, business and government working together in the interest of road safety.

"We’re excited that Coles has chosen to partner with us in our We Need Space campaign to help give Australia’s truck drivers the space they need to keep us safe, and we thank Toll and Linfox for coming on board too," Petroccitto says.

"It’s also great that respected Supercars champion Garth Tander is continuing to support the campaign by helping us deliver these important safety messages.

"Garth has been an invaluable We Need Space ambassador, helping spread the word that, unlike a racing car driver, it’s not all about getting to the front and staying there."

NHVR shares dashcam footage of near-miss for We Need Space campaign, here

The initiative has bipartisan support, with federal assistant minister for road safety and freight transport Scott Buchholz underlining the need for motorists to drive safely around trucks, given the fraction of incidents that are due to truck-driver error and Labor shadow minister Glenn Sterle praising the cooperation on display.

Last year, Coles signed a charter with the Transport Workers Union (TWU) on standards in road transport and the gig economy focusing on safety, driver education and mental health.

"Our transport operators travel approximately 100 million kilometres each year, delivering goods via our Distribution Centres to more than 800 supermarkets across the country," Coles chief legal and safety officer David Brewster says.

"Last year, our robust supply chain was put under pressure like never before, as Coles stepped up to become an essential service and continue to help feeding Australians through the pandemic.

Coles and the NHVR also partner with Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds, a collaboration between road transport, warehousing and logistics operators to support drivers and logistics workers tackling mental health and wellbeing issues.

"As an advocate for the freight and logistics industry and road safety, the VTA was pleased to host this morning’s launch and support the important work of the NHVR and Coles and its supply chain partners," said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.

"It is terrific to see Coles investing as significantly as it is in driver education by partnering with industry to teach drivers how to be safer around heavy vehicles. On behalf Victorian transport operators we congratulate them for their proactive approach to improving road safety.

"The campaign also demonstrates the value Coles places on the heavy vehicle drivers that work hard every day to ensure supermarket shelves are stocked and that consumers have regular and unimpeded access to food and grocery items they enjoy.

"We Need Space is a campaign every operator should endorse and sincere thanks to everyone involved in bringing it to life."

More details can be found here.

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