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New guide addresses truck safety concern

How do we keep people safe around trucks?

In a truck crash involving a pedestrian or cyclist, it’s no surprise who comes off second best. In Victoria alone, 145 pedestrians and cyclists were killed or seriously injured in crashes involving a heavy vehicle between July 2013 and March 2019.

Sixty-eight percent (99) of those fatal or serious injuries occurred in 30-60 km/h speed zones which are typically located in our metropolitan areas.

With increased construction activity in Australian capital cities ($70 billion of transport projects in Victoria alone) we can expect to see many more trucks out on the road. How can we prevent this from causing an increase in fatal and serious injury outcomes for the community?

Recognising the gap in consistent safety advice relevant to the construction logistics sector, ARRB’s Transport Safety team has taken promising first steps towards helping to address this issue, publishing a draft guide for government and industry, titled Construction Logistics and Community Safety – Australia - a practical guide.

The guide was developed with input from a broad range of stakeholders including infrastructure authorities and industry involved in major construction projects. Primarily an engineering and policy document, it is based on the Safe System approach to improving road safety. It aims to go beyond legal minimums in Australia’s efforts to improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists (collectively known as Vulnerable Road Users (VRU)) around trucks.

The ultimate objectives are to:

o            Eliminate collisions between heavy vehicles and the community

o            Improve efficiencies through fewer vehicle journeys

o            Establish a single national standard for industry to meet

o            Reduce reputational risk

The guide forms part of a broader program known as the Construction Logistics and Community Safety – Australia (CLOCS-A) initiative. The CLOCS-A initiative is a national good practice approach for managing the risks and impacts associated with a construction project’s on-road transport and logistics activities to community road safety. Other aspects of the program include the launch of a website to promote the guide and other resources such as an implementation plan and case studies of the outcomes from related initiatives in New South Wales and Victoria.

The CLOCS-A initiative was established in collaboration with the National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP), through grant funding from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR)’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative. It has been inspired by the success of the CLOCS Program established in the United Kingdom in reducing road trauma associated with construction logistics. The initial effectiveness of the UK scheme has been measured by the City of Camden which incorporated CLOCS into its planning and procurement policies and achieved a 47% reduction in Fatal and Serious Injuries involving heavy vehicles and vulnerable road users within two years of implementation.

The primary goal of CLOCS-A is that a similar reduction in lives lost and serious injuries can be achieved locally on our roads in Australia.

You can read the draft guide here.

Topics: Heavy Vehicles, Road Safety, Road and Transport Research, Cycling