Trailer Magazine

Positive steps towards safety

  • From the March 2019 issue.
Positive steps towards safety

According to Knorr-Bremse Lead Applications Engineer, Rachel Michaud, who recently joined the Australian Road Transport Suppliers Association (ARTSA) Executive board, a focus on research and gathering data is helping to drive enhanced safety for the industry.

Rachel joined Knorr-Bremse over six years ago, bringing her extensive engineering experience from Thales Protected Mobility Vehicles in Bendigo. She began working at the braking technology specialist as Applications Engineer – Commercial Vehicle Systems, before becoming Lead Applications Engineer in April 2018.

Shortly after, she was welcomed to the ARTSA board in July 2018, taking the place of Engineering Manager – Commercial Vehicle Systems at Knorr-Bremse, Kevin Gibson, who nominated Rachel after being part of the ARTSA board for eight years.

“It’s great to be part of a technical group within the wider industry and to be able to share knowledge and reach out to people within the community,” Rachel says. “If we can all get together to help improve the industry and make it safer then that’s a good thing.”

Recent changes to the ARTSA board has seen the number of executives reduced from 19 to 12, and a number of new faces added to the mix.

“At ARTSA, we are going down a path steered by research. Rather than simply asking the suppliers what they want, we are looking at gathering data to drive more data driven decision-making. This means we are using engineering and other skillsets to help direct legislation and the industry in a positive direction,” Rachel explains, adding that there have also been several steering groups formed based on different topics of interest.

As the industry pushes to enhance safety on our roads, Rachel also talks about the positive changes to Australian Design Rules (ADRs) that will begin to come into effect later this year.

“Vehicle stability programs including roll over prevention on all new trucks and trailers have been mandated from 2022 and 2019 respectively. This is about trying to increase the safety of vehicles on our roads, which will hopefully have the side effect of reduced injuries and deaths,” says Rachel.
This will apply to new trailers from November 2019, to new model trucks from 2020 and to all new trucks from 2022. 

“Cars already have vehicle stability technology and have had it for years. It has also been available in Europe for the past decade. These new standards will help bring the commercial road transport industry up to the same standards as the rest of the vehicles on our roads, so these are really positive changes.”

(Image: Knorr-Bremse Lead Applications Engineer, Rachel Michaud.)

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