BUS BREAKDOWN SAFETY PROJECT IN AUD$5.9 MILLION GOVT FUNDING

By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy BusNSW, NHVR + Ben Hosking and Fabian Cotter


A BUSNSW PROJECT to improve road safety has been selected as one of 26 initiatives aimed at saving lives and reducing road trauma to share in AUD$5.9 million under Round 5 of the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), it’s been announced.

BUS BREAKDOWN SAFETY PROJECT IN AUD$5.9 MILLION GOVT FUNDING
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack says innovative projects delivering safety benefits to the heavy vehicle industry and other road users would be funded.

BusNSW executive director Matt Threlkeld says it was very pleasing to have a project selected as part of this important programme aimed at delivering safety benefits to the heavy vehicle industry, other road users and the community.

"The funding and support administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator provides a great opportunity for the bus and coach industry to promote road safety, particularly in regard to heavy vehicles," Threlkeld said.

"One of the most common hazards in the bus and coach industry arises from on-road safety risks that result from a bus breakdown," he explained.

"While breakdowns can occur in all motor vehicles, the hazards associated with bus breakdowns - where the vehicle is usually carrying public passengers and often schoolchildren - can be significant," he added.

"The aim of the project is to address risks by producing practical guidance material for all parties in the supply chain associated with bus breakdowns, specifically bus drivers, operators, maintenance staff, emergency assistance providers and replacement bus drivers.

"While BusNSW will be the lead agency responsible for developing the guidance material, the project will provide regional, cross-jurisdictional and national safety benefits for the industry," Threlkeld confirmed.

"The guidelines will be developed in close consultation with the Bus Industry Confederation and other state associations, who are members of the Bus Australia Network.

"They will be available to all members, which means they will assist approximately 3,500 bus operators and over 50,000 bus drivers throughout Australia," he said.

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FUNDING BOOST

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack says innovative projects delivering safety benefits to the heavy vehicle industry and other road users would be funded.

"Projects being funded this round target key areas such as developing or testing innovative new technologies, mental health support for drivers, educational campaigns and much-needed training and development," the Deputy Prime Minister said.

"This includes funding for the recently launched Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds foundation to ramp up their work to improve the mental health of people in the heavy vehicle sector nationwide, from drivers right through to warehouse and distribution centre staff.

"Some of the technology-focused projects include testing next-generation base tyres and trialling new mobile cameras under the National Safety Camera Network initiative to allow real-time monitoring for critical safety concerns like load limit compliance and driver fatigue.

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ABOVE: [R] Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.

 

"Funding will also go to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and Transafe WA to deliver targeted educational campaigns, which keep safety front of mind for road users while addressing key issues like how to share the road safely with heavy vehicles.

"The Australian Government takes road safety seriously because no family should have to endure the utter devastation road crashes cause.

"That is why it is absolutely vital we continue to invest in critical initiatives that improve road safety to save lives and reduce road trauma, including across our heavy vehicle sector."

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ABOVE: [Centre] Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz and [R] NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto.

 

SAFE SYSTEM PRINCIPLES

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz says this latest round of funding built on the $17.3 million already provided for 62 grants under the HVSI program over the past four years.

"We’ve seen some great projects across the country deliver transformative results thanks to HVSI funding and I am proud to see this game-changing program continue," Minister Buchholz said.

"Finding innovative ways to make safety front of mind for road users is key to supporting the Safe System principles – a holistic approach to road safety that underpins the National Road Safety Strategy agreed by all governments.

"HVSI projects also highlight how each and every one of us has a vital role to play in promoting road safety, particularly when it comes to our heavy vehicles, with many of the initiatives led by and created for industry groups and communities.

"This is all part of the Australian Government’s continuing commitment to improve road safety to move towards zero fatalities and serious injuries on our roads."

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COMMON GOAL

NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto says HVSI provided an opportunity for the regulator, who administers the programme, to work with other safety-focused groups towards a common and critical goal.

"The HVSI program encourages community, industry and government groups right across the country to collaborate to create workable solutions to make our roads safer," Petroccitto said.

"It’s an important demonstration of how working together and harnessing a breadth of knowledge and industry experience can achieve real and lasting results for heavy vehicle safety.

"While the HVSI has already delivered some great outcomes, we still have critical work to do to make our roads even safer, which is why I look forward to getting this next round of projects underway to keep driving the future of heavy vehicle safety right across the country."

For more information on the Australian Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program, visit https://www.nhvr.gov.au/about-us/heavy-vehicle-safety-initiative.

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