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Fatal truck crash rate falls 80 per cent

17 May 2016

Authoritative new figures show the rate of fatal articulated truck crashes fell 80 per cent between 1982 and 2015.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Trucking Association, Christopher Melham, released the new figures today. The figures were compiled by the Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) at the University of Adelaide from government statistics.

“Safety is always the trucking industry’s first priority. These figures show the dramatic improvement we have achieved, with the fatal crash rate for articulated trucks falling by 80 per cent between 1982 and 2015,” Mr Melham said.

“During this time, the number of articulated trucks on Australian roads doubled.

“Even as truck and car numbers have grown, the rate of fatal accidents has fallen thanks to better roads, improvements in vehicle design, stronger laws and the industry’s own commitment to safety.

“But even one accident is one too many. That’s why the ATA is using this election campaign to call on political parties and candidates in this election campaign to support practical measures to improve road safety.

“On Friday, the ATA called on parties and candidates to commit to mandating stability control for trucks and trailers.

“Stability control is an outstanding safety tool. There is compelling evidence that it would save lives, and it would open the way to even more advanced safety technologies that would save even more lives in the future.

“In contrast, there is no proven link between the price fixing established by the former Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and safety. The safety figures used by the TWU to justify the tribunal have been shown to be flawed.

“Instead of improving safety, the RSRT made small trucking businesses uncompetitive, and imposed an enormous paperwork burden on the industry,” Mr Melham said.

Later in the election campaign, the ATA will release state by state report cards on all the major parties and key candidates assessing their policies against the industry’s election issues: no RSRT, practical measures to improve road safety and support for stronger trucking businesses.

For updates about the trucking industry’s key election issues, sign up for the ATA’s weekly newsletter.

A graph showing the fatal crash rate is attached.