Tips on what to eat, how to exercise and what signs to recognise for mental health are tackled in new series of videos for truck drivers.
Road Safety and Freight Transport Assistant Minister Scott Buchholz said the series by Whiteline Television gave practical tips from truckies who were often on the road for several days at a time.
“I want to congratulate Whiteline Television for their great work on the new physical and mental health videos to support heavy vehicle drivers,” Mr Buchholz said.
“The health of all truckies is as important now as it’s ever been,” Mr Buchholz said.
“Truck drivers have been one of the unsung heroes in recent months ensuring the most basic of day-to-day essentials continued to be delivered and communities stay connected through the movement of freight.
“I want to thank all of our transport operators and truck drivers for the amazing work they have been doing, keeping shelves stocked and essential freight moving. We don’t thank our drivers enough but during this pandemic, the importance of their work has been on display,” Mr Buchholz said.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said the series of three short videos added to the important on-going conversations about driver welfare.
“The average age for Australia’s truck drivers is mid-40s and many are away from their homes and families for long periods of time,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“At the same time the challenges have never been greater and truckies’ health and wellbeing is vital, whether it’s somewhere to pull up for a rest or looking after themselves with a bit of exercise.
“And just talking about mental and physical health is an important first step.”
The videos were produced by Whiteline Television and funded from Round 4 of the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI), supported by the Australian Government.
The Australian Government and has provided $17.3 million for 62 HVSI grants over the past four years to deliver safety benefits for the heavy vehicle industry and other road users.
Whiteline Television’s Executive Producer Stephen McCarthy said the videos were the result of interviews with long haul drivers who shared their tips and experiences about managing life on the road.
“We travelled the country to catch up with a range of long haul drivers,” Mr McCarthy said.
“I would particularly like to thank Bruce Dodd, Heather Jones, Brendan McDonald, Peter Harris and Monica and Daniel Constable who were willing to pass on their knowledge and tips in straightforward and down-to-earth language.”
Mr Buchholz said the Government was playing a bigger role than ever before to improve road safety in Australia.
“Our government is committed to improving safety on our roads and we are doing that by getting on with programs such as the HVSI,” Mr Buchholz said.
“We’ve also established the Office of Road Safety, we’re getting on with building $100 billion in new infrastructure and we continue to partner with industry and community to deliver programs such as the Road Safety Awareness and Enablers Fund and Road Safety Innovation Fund.”
The HVSI is also funding research on driver mental and physical safety and safety by Perth-based Injury Matters and Canberra-based OzHelp.