THE Victorian Transport Association was one of several transport industry stakeholders to participate in a public call to action at the weekend for motorists to be more vigilant about road safety around heavy vehicles.

Truck driver fatalities in Victoria are reported to have increased during the past year, consistent with fatality and injury spikes across all driver classifications.

This year 42 people have died in crashes involving heavy vehicles, including 14 truck drivers and their passengers.

Almost one in five (17.1%) of every road death has involved a heavy vehicle and the number of single vehicle truck driver deaths is around five times higher than the five-year average.

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VTA CEO Peter Anderson joined Victorian Roads and Road Safety Minister Jaala Pulford and Transport Accident Commission CEO Joe Calafiore to remind motorists that road safety was a shared obligation.

“While most operators do the right thing, there are some common factors in heavy vehicle road trauma including speed, fatigue, impaired driving and unroadworthy vehicles,” Mr Anderson said.

“Conversely, motorcycle and passenger vehicle drivers must be mindful that trucks have large blind spots and take longer to stop, which is a likely factor in a recent NHVR study that found many crashes involving heavy vehicles are caused by other motorists.”

Mr Anderson said with the industry on the cusp of its busiest time of the year, it was important every driver and road transport operator continued to put safety first.

“The roads will be increasingly busy in the lead-up to Christmas and demands from customers will also escalate,” he said.

“However, no delivery or collection is worth the loss of life or injury, which is worth remembering if drivers are running behind schedule.”

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