Goodaye all. Well week four with my sling and outside of the task of ringing every member of the National Road Freighters Association, up to nearly 100 so far, I have been typing merrily away one handed, but making lots of corrections as I go. We now have a confirmed site at the Brisbane Truckshow, so I and other members of NRFA will be on the stand to say hello and get you to join. We will have a dinner date for members one night, so join up and come along.
The show looks set to have very wide industry support and coverage, with many other activities aligned with it for the duration of the show.
I still need a few more truckies, perhaps a couple from SA or Tassie for the hazard perception study, another tanker driver and a couple of general carters to round it out. If you drive fulltime and can give me 15 or 20 minutes, please give me a call. 0428120560
I will be visiting many of the TIV sponsors and hopefully encouraging a couple more to participate, so am still working on the next one, but lots still to do. I have been given a spot as the NRFA President at the Senate Inquiry in Canberra to wrap up from our point of view. I will thank all of our members who have contributed so far and believe we would be by individual numbers, the largest group to put in submissions.
Speaking of things you can do, submissions to the National Road Safety Strategy has closed and from a truckies view, we are again getting blamed for far more than our share of the problems on the road. But there is a chance for you to still have a say. The NHVR is calling for submissions till the end of the month and I will put mine at the bottom for your comments.
Don’t think I want you to just steal a bit or copy, I do want you to go to the NHVR website and read the document and think and reply. We don’t get the chance to contribute often enough, so don’t miss this one! You may just want to raise one issue or ten, you might want to challenge some thing the NHVR is saying, but don’t whinge about it after it closes and we haven’t been listened to, have a say, it won’t kill you and might even help another truckie in the future.
TRUCKRIGHT ABN 17426245866
TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle (TIV) Ten Years on the road, 2019.
TRUCKRIGHT Awarded Highly Commended, 3M ACRS Diamond Road Safety Awards 2015. Finalist 3M ACRS Diamond Road Safety Awards 2016, Awarded Churchill Fellowship 2016. Green Reflector Marking Informal Truck Bays, finally completed the Newell Highway 2019.
To the NHVR, I would like to submit the following towards your Heavy Vehicle Safety Strategy.
On page 4 you speak of employees knowing appropriate safety behaviours that lead to rewards. Currently the whole of the enforcement task has been based on punishment, there is no reward, no recognition of previous behaviour, only fines and penalties. I recognise that as you take over individual state road authorities you are standardising training and that the NHVR is speaking of education before enforcement, but that has not been the case for the last 30 years, nor do you have any control whatsoever over how Police “interpret” laws under the HVNL, nor do you have any input or control then, over how individual states review and or further punish, so called offenders. Until this changes, you have one system where you are aiming to improve but the other enforcers will be allowed to continue unabated and will possibly destroy some of your good work.
How the NHVR will change Cultures and behaviour. You speak of effective fatigue risk management systems, but no current system will overcome the current deficit of truck rest areas. What good is any system, if you have left fit for duty, planned your trip and you become tired and you are told to stop and manage your fatigue with no where to do so. It is my belief that such shortages have led to fatigue crashes and whilst I do recognise the possible driver aids available with some technologies, relying on them alone will not solve the problem.
The inherent lack of flexibility with the current system will continue to fail drivers and either force them to drive tired to be legal and get there, and or to stop and rest when they cannot sleep for any number of reasons. I do hope the current HVNL review will go someway to alleviate these issues, but again, to those pushing for EWDS etc, you must provide both the flexibility and the rest areas first, before going to a system that will count you out and punish you with no feelings or understanding of how hard you tried, to be both compliant and safe.
Delivering visible, targeted, compliance activities. I welcome and applaud this with one caveat, you have no control over how the Police act, so unless you do, some could well undermine your good work and intent.
Influencing other road users’ behaviour around heavy vehicles. I have been involved with this specific aim for over 20 years and notwithstanding the fact I have received funding both directly and indirectly from some of your programs, I will say you have done more than any before you to change this problem. You have come to it late, but I am happy to promote and support current and further efforts to reduce crashes from those not taught to share the road with trucks.
Safer vehicles and increased uptake of safety technology. The next TIV will have most of this technology and some others. The just retired one had much of it, but to be truthful, I was never asked to expound on it and perhaps that was a missed opportunity? But happy to work with you and get that knowledge and information to other drivers and truck buyers.
Vehicle Maintenance. I agree absolutely with your intent, with again one caveat. In the past some without real sufficient knowledge have used this as punishment, eg sending a driver with a crack in a windscreen that was not dangerous, a small single bald patch on one tyre or a single light out for costly and ridiculous major full vehicle inspections. If you can remove such over-zealous stupidity from current enforcement, along with over the top Police grandstanding about infringements found and fined for, with absolutely no requirement to tell the truth or be held accountable for their behaviour. In these such “blitzes”, the more they ramp it up and lie, the worse we look and the more they can self-perpetuate such abuses.
Influence road network design to support safe heavy vehicles. We need a NATIONAL ROAD STANDARD, to which not only road authorities can be held, but also road builders and repairers. Even when some roads and or repairs are new, they are not built properly and or to the proper standard for safe road use. When they either fail and or as you suggest increase the risk of a crash, then it is too little too late and the maintenance costs and the possibility of causing or contributing to a crash, will only continue to increase. Wire rope from end to end on the Hume, Tycannah Creek Bridge south of Moree opened as a roller coaster and overtaking lanes south of Peak Hill failing within weeks of completion and no one is held to account.
Number and quality of rest stops. As mentioned above, we are not only behind in providing safe and sufficient truck rest areas, we are going backwards. We need a NATIONAL REST AREA STRATEGY
We now have national guidelines for truck rest area design, but no national policy to enforce it, let alone see one single truck rest area built. Yes we have some state programs, but they do not consider trucks, the current freight task, growing traffic, issues of truck parking in cities, let alone the growing problems of more restrictions, but also local trucks taking up spaces as free parking in truck stops or the added pressure of the annual caravan invasions. Then we have new roads and or alignments that take away current safe shoulders, by pass towns and then we lose 50 spots and get one parking bay with 10 spaces at ridiculous cost.
The Pacific Highway has never had enough truck bays and whilst it is now a much better road and may well take some traffic off the Newell, we have lost more parking bays than we have gained. Even worse than that, there was never any thought given to a proper change over facility, even when RMS knew of the hazards and congestion that occurred at Clybucca. I told them 15 years ago that such a site must be included in the Pacific Highway upgrades, we had only waited for 30 years to get one on the Hume and even it was badly designed and now the Pacific is completed, there is still nothing and insufficient truck bays for the increasing number of trucks which will only continue to grow.
I could go on and I recognise you are not currently responsible for such sites and I truly welcome your participation in this most critical of issues and do hope you can achieve something in the future.
Safe heavy vehicle road use. As a b-double driver, I understand the need for some restrictions, but there have been times, when by mistake, or by diversion due to a crash or roadworks, I have been sent on a road that was not a b-double route. Yet there has never been a road I could not safely travel along or exit safely from. In my view the penalty far exceeds the damage you suggest could happen. I will then go the other way and say I have seen drivers who can’t negotiate on a safe and permitted road, but that is all about proper driver training and while not under your direct control, I think needs much focus and hopefully resolution, that will provide safer truck drivers on the road. But too often the enforcement I have seen and heard of, was mostly overzealous and had nothing to do with road safety. Once you get into type 1 and then type 2 roadtrains, that is completely another matter.
Thank you for this opportunity to contribute and I look forward to your continuing efforts to improve road safety for all. Rod Hannifey, Road Transport and Road Safety Advocate and President NRFA.
I will attach the last video from the TIV. Again the light was dying, so the quality is not that good, but the sentiment and I hope, the passion will ring through. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.