In the November edition of Australasian Transport News (ATN), HVIA Chief Executive Todd Hacking has challenged Government to incentivise the uptake of safety technologies.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility: the people who design, build and maintain roads; the people who use the road network, such as drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists; the people who import or manufacture vehicles; the people who police road user behaviour and of course those responsible for implementing policy, laws and regulations pertaining to road use and road safety.
“As an association that advocates for the businesses that design, import, manufacture and distribute heavy vehicles and supply components for trucks and trailers, HVIA is at the forefront of showcasing innovation, technology and the latest safety features.
“Our members are constantly innovating and developing ways to make their vehicles safer. Sometimes this is mandated through the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) but often this is voluntary and is part of being a good corporate citizen.
“The fact is that heavy vehicles rolling off the assembly line in 2018 are the safest yet, and as the industry continues to innovate and invest in design and technology, the safety features will continue to advance in future years.
“This advancement in safety is also true for passenger vehicles. In spite of these safer vehicles operating on better performing roads and at safer speeds, Australia is not seeing the requisite downward trend on the road toll.
“The tragic reality is that last year 1,227 people died on Australian roads. Sadly, this also includes 185 people from accidents involving a heavy vehicle. These deaths are largely preventable.
“As such, HVIA has asked itself: what more can be done to reduce road fatalities? I’m proud that our members have come up with a series of priority actions which we have now released as part of a new campaign – Safer Trucks & Trailers: Incentivising the Uptake of Safety Technologies.
“This action plan argues that the highest priority is a deliberate strategy of targeting older vehicles in the fleet, reducing the age of the fleet by doing so, or incentivising the retrofit of available safety technologies to improve heavy vehicle safety.”
Mr Hacking says the document is intended to start a constructive, mature discussion on advancing road safety.
“This is a logical first step to target the vehicles most in need, and does so in a way that does not punish heavy vehicle operators, but rather incentivises the uptake of available safety technologies.”