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A Preventative Approach to Heavy Vehicle Road Safety – Reforming Australia’s Heavy Vehicle Chain of Responsibility Laws.

Beesley, A

Heavy Vehicles

ARSC conference 2016

EXTENDED ABSTRACT: This presentation considers how reforms to Australia’s heavy vehicle chain of responsibility laws are likely to help reduce the rate of heavy vehicle road crash fatalities by considering the impact of similar reforms to other safety laws, both in Australia and overseas.

Despite reductions in the number of heavy vehicles involved in road crash fatalities, heavy vehicles still accounted for almost 20% of all road deaths in 2012 (BITRE 2015). In addition, although road freight workers comprise only a quarter of all transport, postal and wherehousing workers, in 2012 road freight workers accounted for 71% of deaths (Safe Work Australia). This number is 15 times the national all industries rate and is two and a half times the rate for the transport, postal and wherehousing industry as a whole (Safe Work Australia).

Australia’s heavy vehicle sector is expected to double between 2006 and 2020, and triple by 2050 (BITRE 2014), with interstate trucking expected to generate a significant portion of this growth (IPA 2009).

Accordingly, and unless something more is done, road deaths involving heavy vehicles will continue to be a safety issue for the foreseeable future.