Fatal truck crashes in Australia fell dramatically in 2018

3 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineMarch 4, 2019

The latest crash statistics show a dramatic fall in fatal truck crashes in 2018, Australian Trucking Association chair Geoff Crouch said.

The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 211,500 people in the Australian trucking industry and has welcomed the release of the latest Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) heavy vehicle fatal crash statistics.

“The data from BITRE shows a dramatic decrease in the number of fatal truck crashes,” Crouch said.

Compared with 2017, there has been a 20.5 percent decrease in fatal crashes involving heavy trucks, a 15.2 percent decrease in fatal crashes involving articulated trucks and a 26.1 percent decrease in fatal crashes involving heavy rigid trucks.

A recent multi-agency operation led by WA Main Roads in partnership with the NHVR, South Australian Police and Department of Transport WA, has shown a high level of legal compliance by operators.

“The operation on the SA-WA border found 91 percent of trucking operators travelling interstate to be compliant with the Heavy Vehicle National Law,” Crouch said.

“The results of this operation, and the crash statistics, highlight the industry‘s improving safety and compliance record.”

Crouch said there is still a lot of work to be done, and that until a point is reached where there are zero fatalities and injuries on our roads, the ATA will continue to advocate for practical safety solutions.

The practical safety measures called for by the ATA include:

  •      enabling the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to provide independent, no-blame safety                       investigations for road crashes involving heavy vehicles
  •      increasing the quantity and quality of truck driver rest areas
  •      mandating autonomous emergency braking for all new trucks, and
  •      improving truck driver training and licensing systems.

 “The ATA is continuing to work hard to reach our goal of zero fatal and serious injury crashes,” Crouch said.

Recently the ATA received $400,000 from the Australian Government for the refurbishment of the Volvo ATA Safety Truck, a road safety initiative that educates young drivers and vulnerable road users about how to share the road safely with trucks.