Project ensures safer loads on regional roads

A new safety campaign has been launched to reduce the number of dangerously loaded trucks operating on regional roads.

Deputy Prime Minister, Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development and Member for Riverina, Michael McCormack, has welcomed the project initiated by Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils and funded under the Federal Government’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.

“This is an important project following several local incidents and an increase in the volume of heavy vehicle traffic in the region,” said McCormack.

“It will help educate transport operators, along with the farms and businesses they serve, in safe load restraint.

“Heavy vehicles help connect so much of regional Australia and projects such as this will ensure that vehicles and drivers act in a safe manner at all times.

“The Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils are to be congratulated for initiating this project and I hope more Councils follow their lead in an effort to enhance the safety of their local communities and those that travel through them.”

The project received $60,500 under the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI) program, administered by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator with the support of the Federal Government.

The Load Restraint Public Education Campaign will see new ‘how to’ load restraint videos and factsheets shared with local businesses, as well as a social media awareness campaign and a series of load restraint information sessions across the three shires.

The strength of the region’s farming, mining, forestry and construction sectors has seen a steady growth in heavy vehicle traffic, with one truck passing through the townships of Forbes, Parkes and Peak Hill every minute.

Forbes Shire Council Mayor, Phyllis Miller OAM, said local police had issued 72 notices for load restraint breaches in 2019.

“Safety is a high priority for the heavy vehicle industry, but there are still too many knowledge gaps when it comes to load restraint,” said Miller.

“It’s important that all businesses recognise they have a part to play in heavy vehicle safety under 2018 Chain of Responsibility amendments.

“This project will aid in removing any doubts about how heavy vehicles should be loaded.”

National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the HVSI had so far allocated $22.8 million through 89 separate grants over the past five years.

“Improving heavy vehicle safety and safety for all drivers is the top priority of the NHVR,” said Petroccitto.

“I look forward to continuing to work with Governments and stakeholder groups to ensure that heavy vehicles and those that operate them travel safely and arrive safely.”