QLD’s heavy vehicle plan

A plan to improve heavy vehicle safety has been devised by the Queensland Government

A plan to reduce accidents involving all heavy vehicles, including buses and coaches, will see inspections ramped up, the Queensland Government announced this week.

The Heavy Vehicle Safety Action Plan 2016-18 was launched at the first meeting of the Ministerial Freight Council recently, with a focus on safer roads, safer vehicles, fatigue management, safer speeds, seatbelts, impaired driving and driver distraction.

 "In 2015, heavy vehicles accounted for about 2.3 per cent  of all registered vehicles in Queensland, but were involved in 20.2 per cent of all road fatalities," Queensland main roads and road safety minister Mark Bailey says.

"Traffic crashes are usually due to a combination of factors including driver behaviour, speed, road conditions and vehicle safety.

"When you add a heavy vehicle into the equation, the size and mass of the vehicle means the outcome is more likely to be tragic."

In 2015 there were 49 lives lost, and hundreds of people were seriously injured as a result of heavy vehicle involvement in crashes in Queensland.

"These numbers are too high, and more must be done," Bailey says.

"This plan has been prepared in partnership with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, the Queensland Police Service and heavy vehicle industry to support Queensland’s Road Safety Strategy."

Queensland transport minister Stirling Hinchliffe says safety is important and the he is confident plan will have a positive impact.

"A key action will be to audit rest areas across the state and determine where improvements are needed to ensure heavy vehicle drivers can take rest opportunities and comply with fatigue management laws in Queensland," he says.

Key actions include an audit of rest areas to determine where improvements are needed, encouraging the heavy vehicle industry to include safe road user behaviours, identifying why some heavy vehicle drivers do not wear seatbelts and developing options on how this can be addressed.  

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