Funding boost for heavy vehicle safety programs

A trial of livestock unloading equipment will be funded under the next round of the NHVR's Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative program.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the program was one of 12 proposals approved for a share of the $3.9 million funding by the NHVR, supported by the Federal Government.

"Landings used for loading and unloading livestock can greatly add to the safety of operators, reducing falls and giving better access to the trailer," Mr Chester said.

"Livestock is unpredictable, particularly when loading or unloading, and any sudden movement is a risk to an operator who is usually working at heights.

"This trial, proposed by the Australian Livestock and Rural Transporters Association (ALRTA) will not only construct and trial a Stock Crate Pivot Access Landing frame at a livestock processer, but also look at innovative funding options and how it might be rolled out at other locations across Australia.

"The rate of falls, injuries and even fatalities among livestock operators is too high and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this trial to improve both operator safety and productivity in the heavy vehicle industry."

Chair of the ALRTA National Animal Welfare Committee John Beer said the 'proof of concept' project had potential to greatly improve safety and productivity in the livestock supply chain.

"Transport operators have to rely on other parties in the supply chain to provide loading and unloading infrastructure, such as livestock ramps and pivot access unloading frames," Mr Beer said.

"High quality infrastructure can greatly improve safety and productivity for heavy vehicle operators and this project will demonstrate an innovative new funding mechanism that incentivises rapid infrastructure improvements throughout the road transport supply chain."

Mr Chester said the funding would also support a campaign targeting the appropriate use of shared rest stops by caravaners and heavy vehicle operators.

"The Caravan Industry Association of Australia (CIAA) proposal will inform caravaners and RV travellers on the appropriate use of rest stop sites and help to foster a safer environment for all road users," he said.

"The CIAA campaign will cover the importance of all drivers abiding by signage to ensure trucks can access designated rest stops to allow for breaks and managing fatigue.

"We will help change lives and save lives with these projects. They are only possible because the Coalition chose to invest money in valuable road safety initiatives for the heavy vehicle industry rather than another government tribunal that delivered very little in the way of making our roads safer."

The Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative called for implementable, value-for-money initiatives that deliver significant heavy vehicle safety benefits.

Other initiatives to receive funding under the current round include:
• Heavy vehicle safety hotline to allow anonymous reporting of potential infringements to the NHVR
• Forestry logistics safety program, to provide information on load restraint, key impacts on vehicle stability when transporting forestry products and emerging technologies
• Roll out of local safe freight networks in areas where heavy vehicle crashes are higher than average
• Installation of, and education around, green reflector markings of informal truck bays on the Newell Highway
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said funding had also been approved to expand the network of heavy vehicle compliance cameras in Victoria, ACT, Queensland and South Australia.

"The heavy vehicle camera network is part of the NHVR's broader plans for a national compliance and information system which will support real-time, agency-linked, data-collection used by Authorised Officers wherever they are in Australia," Mr Petroccitto said.

"Better national visibility of vehicle movements will allow the NHVR and other enforcement agencies to target drivers and operators who systematically flout fatigue laws."

The NHVR is currently working with other state road transport authorities to identify additional camera sites which are located along the busiest freight routes to maximise heavy vehicle monitoring capability.

Details of the funded programs are attached or for more information visit www.nhvr.gov.au/hvsi

Media Contacts
For Mr Chester: Kate Barwick 0408 072 809
For NHVR: Andrew Berkman 0429 128 637

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