Aug 20, 2009

Another $40 million to improve truck road safety in Australia

Another $40 million to improve truck road safety in Australia

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport,

Regional Development and Local Government

Leader of the House

Member for Grayndler

August 20 2009

The Rudd Labor Government is calling for funding submissions to improve road safety for trucks and heavy vehicles under the second and final round, worth $40 million, of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program.

The Government is committed to building more rest stops and investing in cutting-edge technology to make highways safer for truck drivers and the motorists sharing the roads with them.

We are seeking projects from state and territory governments and the trucking industry that can help cut the number of speed- and fatigue- related fatalities involving heavy vehicles on our roads. These include:

  • Construction of more heavy vehicle rest stops and parking areas along highways and on the outskirts of major cities;
  • Trials of technologies that electronically monitor a truck driver’s work hours and vehicle speed – for example, using an onboard ‘black box’, electronic log, or the Global Positioning System (GPS); and
  • Upgrades to bridges and freight routes to allow them to carry bigger loads.

All up, we are providing $70 million for safety projects through this Program. The first round of $30 million has already provided to 150 projects earlier this year.

Everyone on our roads benefits from more rest stops for fatigued truck drivers. New technologies like black boxes and GPS can also help keep our roads safer by tracking speed and hours.

One in five road deaths involve heavy vehicles, with speed and driver fatigue being significant contributing factors in these crashes.

Never before has the federal government had a dedicated program to improve heavy vehicle road safety.

The $70 million Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program builds on the $119.5 million that we are already providing this year to fix black spots on local roads and national highways.

The Program was developed in consultation with the trucking industry to provide a safer environment for drivers delivering products and produce across the nation.

Submissions for round two of the HVSPP will be taken until 30 September 2009. For further information: http://www.nationbuildingprogram.gov.au/funding/Heavyvehicles/Index.aspx