NHVR encourages safe driving during National Road Safety Week

National Road Safety Week kicked off yesterday, the initiative highlighting the impact of road trauma and ways to reduce it.

Conveniently aligning with the recent discussions regarding safety while driving and driver competency, the initiative will run from May 5-12 and encourages all drivers to “pledge to drive so others survive.”

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The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) have jumped aboard the movement by the Safer Australian Roads and Highways (SARAH) Group, reminding truckies to prioritise safety behind the wheel.

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says National Road Safety Week serves as a crucial reminder for motorists to ensure they know how to safely share the road with heavy vehicles.

“Last year, we saw 1,272 lives lost in crashes on Australia’s roads – 187 of these lives were taken in crashes that involved a heavy vehicle,” Petroccitto 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.”

The NHVR is reminding light vehicle drivers to:

  • 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 3 to 4 times more space than you would give a car.
  • Avoid lingering in a trucks blind spot: Truck’s 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.

Petroccitto says National Road Safety Week is also a timely reminder for truck drivers to ensure they are operating safely.

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

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

Now in its 11th year, the annual event was founded by Peter Frazer following the loss of his daughter Sarah in a preventable crash south of Sydney in 2012.

“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.

“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.’

“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.”

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