The Australian Trucking Association claimed that it is a step closer to saving more lives on the road after welcoming Australian Government funding to redesign the Volvo ATA Safety Truck.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced the $400,000 in funding this morning with ATA CEO Ben Maguire and Volvo Group Australia President and CEO Martin Merrick.
The funds will contribute to the redesign of the Volvo ATA Safety Truck, a road safety exhibition that has been in operation since 2008. The exhibition was last updated in 2013.
The new Safety Truck and campaign will deliver an engaging hands-on experience that puts young road users in a virtual driver’s seat to experience the realities of truck driving, to learn how to keep safe around trucks on the road. This will be supported by informative, small group presentations that reinforce safety messages and drive behavioural change.
“Deputy Prime Minister McCormack understands the importance of road safety and our common vision of zero fatal or serious injury crashes on our roads. I am delighted to accept the funding, knowing that it will save lives,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.
“The new campaign will specifically target 16 to 25 year old drivers and vulnerable road users, as they are over-represented in crash statistics,” he said.
Official estimates show that about 80 per cent of fatal multi-vehicle crashes involving trucks are not the fault of the truck driver.
25 per cent of the people involved in casualty crashes with trucks are aged 26 years or younger, although this age group only represents 10-15 per cent of the driver population.
The ATA’s award-winning Safety and Skills Adviser, Melissa Weller, is leading the project.
“The refreshed Safety Truck will deliver its messages through videos, virtual reality and small group presentations. It will focus on truck blind spots, stopping distances, overtaking procedures and the risks associated with driver, pedestrian and cyclist distraction,” Mrs Weller said.
Mrs Weller said the project would be supported by ongoing research and evaluation.
“We are going to work with academic road safety researchers to design and implement a study that will assess road safety trends and allow us to measure the impact of the Safety Truck on on-road behaviour and statistics,” Mrs Weller said.
The refurbishment will commence in June 2019, with the new truck and campaign to be launched in conjunction with the ATA’s 30th anniversary celebrations in October 2019.
The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 211,500 people in the Australian trucking industry.
Project fact sheet attached. High res images are available for media use.
Official estimates show that about 80 per cent of fatal multi-vehicle crashes involving trucks are not the fault of the truck driver.25 per cent of vehicle occupants involved in a casualty crash with a truck are aged 26 years or younger. This age group only represents only 10 to 15 per cent of the driver population.
The Volvo ATA Safety Truck solution
The new Safety Truck and associated communication campaign will target 16 to 25 year old drivers and vulnerable road users. It will deliver an engaging hands-on experience that will educate the target audience and change their behaviour.
Young road users will be put in a virtual driver’s seat to experience the realities of truck driving, learning how to keep safe around trucks on the road. This will be supported by informative, small group presentations that reinforce safety messages and drive behavioural change.
The Safety Truck will travel Australia-wide to visit career expos, high schools, TAFE colleges and universities, key road safety events and other events that specifically engage the target audience.
Key safety messages
The Safety Truck will increase young people’s understanding of truck blind spots, stopping distances, overtaking procedures and the risks associated with driver, pedestrian and cyclist distraction.
Production will commence in June 2019, with the project completed in October 2019. The design phase of the project (funded internally by the ATA) commenced in September 2018, following research that started in February 2018.
The Safety Truck will be supported by ongoing research and evaluation.
The design of the exhibition was informed by an international review of road safety communication research and three rounds of focus group testing both prior to and post concept development. The presenter scripts were tested in presentations delivered to more than one thousand late secondary school students.
The ATA will work with academic road safety researchers to design and implement a study that measures the long-term impact of the exhibition on participants’ message recall, on-road behaviour and crash and near-miss statistics.
In addition to the Australian Government funding, the Safety Truck redesign is supported by ATA Foundation Sponsors BP, Volvo and National Transport Insurance, as well as Bridgestone and 3M. Many trucking associations, businesses, suppliers and people in the industry, as well as the NHVR and other stakeholders, have generously supported the truck’s operations since it was launched.