Sharing the road


A mobile education centre travelling around Australia is educating motorists and children about how to safely share the road with trucks.

An initiative of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), the Volvo ATA Safety Truck was launched in response to the community’s concerns about the impact of the trucking industry on daily life.

The ATA says the trucking industry and its stakeholders recognise a responsibility to engage with the community in managing Australia’s growing freight task.

“The ATA, its members and stakeholders created Safety Truck to do exactly that,” a spokeperson said.

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“The community becomes increasingly receptive to the safety messages as they realise the essential role of the trucking industry to everyday life.

“Safety is a crucial issue to Australia’s professional truck drivers and the trucking industry.

“Truck drivers share their workplace with thousands of motorists every day. They understand that road safety is everyone’s business.”

The Volvo ATA Safety Truck was designed to attract audiences of all age groups.

Interaction with trucks is not covered in standard driver training or assessments.

Many drivers are not been taught how to share the road with trucks so the messages shared are important to any motorist, particularly in regional areas where heavy vehicles are very much a part of everyday life.

Research has also found children are an effective means of influencing their parents’ behaviour through conversation, repeating the messages, or as ‘back seat drivers’.

Truckies Top Tips, which advice about how to share the road safely with Australia’s 534,000 trucks. are demonstrated through interactive and educational activities on board the exhibition.

These tips include:

Avoid blind spots: Truck drivers use their mirrors to see surrounding traffic. Sitting too close to the left passenger door or too close behind the truck may mean the driver doesn’t know you’re there.

Do not cut in front of trucks: Truck drivers leave a large gap between their vehicle and the car in front. But don’t cut in – because of a truck’s size and weight, it needs almost twice as much room to brake as a car.

Dip your high beams early when coming up behind a truck: A truck’s mirrors don’t have an anti-glare position.

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