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Trucking industry announces safety research plan

11 May 2011

The Australian Trucking Association will fund a series of truck and trailer safety research projects as its commitment to the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

The Decade of Action is being launched across the world today, with the aim of stabilising and then reducing the number of road crash fatalities across the globe. Around the world, road crashes kill more than 1.3 million people a year – more than are killed by malaria – and injure 50 million people.
The Chief Executive of the ATA, Stuart St Clair, said the association would support the UN Decade of Action by funding a safety research program.

“The trucking industry has dramatically improved its safety over the last twenty years, thanks to the efforts of the ATA, trucking operators and governments,” Mr St Clair said.

“We need to keep improving the industry’s safety, but governments and businesses need to base their safety decisions on evidence and a clear understanding of the costs and benefits of possible safety measures. After all, the community only has a limited amount of money: it needs to be spent where it will get the best results.
“As the first step in this research program, the ATA has commissioned the Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) at the University of Adelaide to prepare an overview report into heavy vehicle safety. The report will:

• provide evidence about the safety measures that work – and the ones that don’t;
• identify the gaps in what we know about how to make heavy vehicles safer;
• recommend priorities for follow-up research;
• provide an authoritative reference guide to the research already been carried out into truck and trailer safety. This research, published in a host of different academic journals, reports and studies, is often difficult to find, particularly for people in the industry who need guidance into how to make their businesses safer.

“The results of the project will help guide the direction of the ATA’s future safety research,” Mr St Clair said.

The team preparing the report is led CASR Senior Research Fellow Dr Jeremy Woolley.

Dr Woolley has conducted extensive research into road safety issues, including the effects of lowering speed limits, drink driving enforcement, and road safety advertising campaigns. He is a member of the South Australian Road Safety Advisory Council’s speed management and fitness to drive task forces.

Dr Woolley will present the findings of the research project at the 2011 Australian Trucking Convention.