DEPUTY Prime Minister and Minister for transport Michael McCormack said projects delivering safety benefits to the heavy vehicle industry and other road users would be funded under Round 5 of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative.
The Australian government program will provide $5.9m in funding to 26 projects aimed at saving lives and reducing road trauma.
“Projects being funded this round target key areas such as developing or testing innovative new technologies, mental health support for drivers, educational campaigns and much-needed training and development,” Mr McCormack said.
“This includes funding for the recently launched Healthy Heads in Trucks and Sheds foundation to ramp up their work to improve the mental health of people in the heavy vehicle sector nationwide, from drivers right through to warehouse and distribution centre staff.
“Some of the technology-focused projects include testing next-generation base tyres and trialling new mobile cameras under the National Safety Camera Network initiative to allow real-time monitoring for critical safety concerns like load limit compliance and driver fatigue.”
Funding will also go to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Transafe WA to deliver targeted educational campaigns, which keep safety front of mind for road users while addressing key issues like how to share the road safely with heavy vehicles.
“The Australian Government takes road safety seriously, because no family should have to endure the utter devastation road crashes cause,” Mr McCormack said.
“That is why it is absolutely vital we continue to invest in critical initiatives that improve road safety to save lives and reduce road trauma, including across our heavy vehicle sector.”
Assistant Minister for road safety and freight transport Scott Buchholz said this latest round of funding built on the $17.3m already provided for 62 grants under the HVSI program over the past four years.
“We’ve seen some great projects across the country deliver transformative results thanks to HVSI funding and I am proud to see this game-changing program continue,” Mr Buchholz said.
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto said HVSI provided an opportunity for the regulator, who administers the program, to work with other safety-focused groups towards a common and critical goal.
“The HVSI program encourages community, industry and government groups right across the country to collaborate to create workable solutions to make our roads safer,” Mr Petroccitto said.
“It’s an important demonstration of how working together and harnessing a breadth of knowledge and industry experience can achieve real and lasting results for heavy vehicle safety.”