Motorist education needed to reduce heavy-vehicle accidents
Educating the motoring public on how to drive safely with heavy vehicles is one of the recommendations from the peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) at the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee inquiring into road safety in Australia.
RFNSW has called on the federal government and relevant departments to convene a special industry-led national working group to better educate motorists on interacting with heavy vehicles in order to reduce the number of road accidents estimated to be costing the Australian economy $33 billion a year.
Appearing before the Senate Rural and Regional Affairs and Transport References Committee inquiring into road safety in Australia, RFNSW General Manager Simon O’Hara said: “Greater engagement and education on the roads, particularly with regard to light vehicles, is essential.”
A list of top 10 tips advising the motoring public on how to drive safely with heavy vehicles on the roads has been released by RFNSW, along with the ATA. One of those tips is distracted driving, with studies showing that 80% of collisions are caused by motorists whose attention is taken away from the road by their passengers, phones, GPS, radio, eating drinking and smoking.
“Alarmingly, distractions are now deemed to be the single biggest cause of crashes and near misses, with road users who take their eyes off the road for two seconds or longer doubling their crash risk. If drivers get that message and pay attention, that’s one simple way of trying to achieve safer roads for all users alike.
“RFNSW recommends the establishment of a working committee to scope out better ways to educate light vehicle users and cyclists in their interactions with heavy vehicle users for the purposes of attaining safer roads. We believe appropriate funding also be set aside for greater engagement and public awareness to educate road users and inform them on how to properly interact with heavy vehicles.”
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