Young drivers and vulnerable road users will get a better understanding of how to be safe around heavy vehicles in a fully immersive exhibition on the Volvo ATA Safety Truck as it sets off on its NSW tour.
Bernard Carlon the Executive Director of the Centre for Road Safety launched the NSW leg of the Australian Trucking Association’s SafeT360 tour in Hammondville on 9 March 2020 as Holsworthy High School students explored the hazards around heavy vehicles through virtual reality and high-tech displays.
In the five years up to June 2019, 331 people were killed and 2,010 were seriously injured in crashes involving heavy vehicles with young people aged 16 to 25 over-represented in multi-vehicle crashes that involve a heavy vehicle.
“Sadly, 316 16-25 year olds were killed or seriously injured in a crash involving a heavy vehicle in NSW in the five years up to June 2019 and they are more likely to be in a crash involving a heavy vehicle than any other age group,” Mr Carlon said.
NSW research shows younger drivers are more likely to perform unsafe driving behaviours around heavy vehicles such as cutting in front of a heavy truck and overtaking heavy trucks when they’re turning. In addition, around 40 per cent of all road users indicate they do not know where a heavy vehicle’s blind spots are.
“The research and crash data tells us young drivers are unsure of how to share the road safely with trucks, which puts themselves or others at risk,” Mr Carlon said.
“This exhibition will engage young people who are starting out as drivers on our roads and alert them to the importance of being aware of heavy vehicles when driving around large vehicles.”
Safety, Health and Wellbeing Director Melissa Weller from the Australian Trucking Association said the Safety Truck aims to reach at least 55,000 young people each year.
“We have loaded SafeT360 with the latest technology and virtual reality so we can immerse young people in an educational experience that will raise awareness and influence behaviour,” Mrs Weller said.
“SafeT360 gives real life messages about how young people can keep themselves safe around heavy vehicles. This exhibition and wider communication campaign will save lives and lower crash rates on our roads.”
The Safety Truck will tour NSW throughout March, visiting a range of community events and schools.
To find out more about the Safety Truck and when it will be near you please visit www.safet360.com.au
For tips on how to stay safe around heavy vehicles go to www.BeTruckAware.com.au