COUNTRY people know better than others the importance of the trucking industry to the economy, but it doesn’t mean they’re any better at sharing the road with trucks.
That was why the Safety Truck made a special visit to Leongatha on Wednesday.
The truck was in Leongatha on its 10th and final week of campaigning for road safety.
“The car to truck ratio of serious collisions is higher in Gippsland,” community road safety advisor Alan Pincott said.
“The industry came together and said, this is unacceptable, how can we do something about it?
“The result is a three-pronged approach, industry support and training; turning the lights on campaign; and, a public awareness campaign, which has included ads on TV with the talking Safety Truck, and the tours of the Safety Truck.”
The truck has been around to various community events and schools, working especially with new drivers about sharing the road with trucks.
“The truck really helps to give an insight to people about what it’s like to be driving a truck and help other drivers to be more aware of what truck drivers contend with,” former truckie, police officer and Australian Trucking Association member Glen Schmidtke said.
“We show people our mirrors, blind spots, why it takes longer to stop, how trucks need extra space to go around corners.
“Country drivers and country kids have a lot of knowledge about sharing the roads with trucks, just because they’re around them more often, but people tend to forget some of these things about trucks.
“It serves as a friendly reminder.
“The fact is, and our own statistics back this up, that 80 per cent of heavy vehicle with car fatalities, the fault lies with the car driver.
“If friendly reminders are what it takes to educate drivers and we can reduce collisions and fatalities, we’re happy to keep putting these reminders out there.”