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NHVR asks all road users to ‘drive so others survive’


With the launch of National Road Safety Week on Sunday, May 5, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator is teaming up with the Safer Australian Roads and Highways Group to remind heavy vehicle drivers to prioritise safety behind the wheel.

While all road users must hold safety to account, NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says that motorists must take care when driving around heavy vehicles.

“Last year, we saw 1272 lives lost in crashes on Australia’s roads – 187 of these lives were taken in crashes that involved a heavy vehicle,” he says.

“Behind these numbers are real people, whose loss is deeply felt by loved ones and their communities.

“This National Road Safety Week, the NHVR wants to prevent further tragedy on our roads, by sharing vital information about how to drive safely around heavy vehicles.”

Some of the key points include:

  • Leave two lanes for trucks when they are turning: Truck drivers often need to take up more than one lane to turn at corners, intersections and roundabouts, so keep both lanes beside a truck free when it is turning.
  • Give trucks extra space: Trucks require longer braking distances and take a lot longer to slow down and stop than cars. When pulling in front of a truck, give them three to four times more space than you would give a car.
  • Avoid lingering in a trucks blind spot: Trucks have larger blind spots than cars. When overtaking a truck, wait for a dedicated overtaking lane or long stretch of road where you have a clear view ahead, then indicate and overtake quickly to reduce the time you’re in a truck’s blind spot.

“NHVR on-road officers are always out and about, ready to support drivers with any questions they have regarding their compliance,” Petroccitto says.

“I encourage any heavy vehicle driver to chat to our officers, to make sure their movements are safe and efficient.”

National Road Safety Week was founded by Peter Frazer, and it is now entering it’s 11th year. Frazer created the initiative after losing his daughter Sarah on the road in 2012.

He speaks to the message of the week and the importance of road safety.

“Everyone has a right to get home safe to their loved ones … every day… no exceptions!” Frazer says.

“Yet already this year, we have seen some devastating crashes on our roads and highways, resulting in the tragic loss of lives and serious injuries sustained by our fellow Australians.

“In 2023, more than 1,200 people were killed and over 40,000 were seriously injured… this continues to be a true pandemic, but we can change these numbers.

“So this year, and indeed every year, I ask drivers to make a commitment to protect every life by driving as if their loved ones are on the road ahead, by taking the pledge to ‘drive so others survive.’

“Road safety starts at a local level, which is captured in this year’s theme of ‘All road safety is local’.

“National Road Safety Week is about bringing communities together, tackling road trauma and shaping the future of our roads by working to collectively change attitudes and behaviours.

“Let’s hold each other accountable and ensure every journey ends safely.”

The NHVR is also launching its Heavy Vehicle Industry Safety Survey during the week, with the goal to improve support for industry through feedback.

You can access the survey from Tuesday, May 7 through this link.

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