Truckie safety under scrutiny after numerous rollovers

A truck that rolled on Raglan-Elmhurst Road in June.

A truck that rolled on Raglan-Elmhurst Road in June.

Tough new trucking laws will be introduced next year after several rollovers across the Ballarat region, including near Ararat on Tuesday.

The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, which created the laws to tackle truck safety, said new legislation due to come into effect in 2018 will make it much harder for companies to wriggle out of their responsibilities.

“Under new legislation anyone in the supply chain who influences the safety outcomes of a heavy vehicle operator has a responsibility,” said the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s executive director of safety Geoff Casey.

On Tuesday afternoon, a truck rollover forced the closure of Mortlake-Ararat Road near Ararat.

And another two big log trucks rolled along Raglan-Elmhurst Road, northwest of Ballarat, within weeks of each other in June and July.

It came after a man tragically died in a truck rollover near Meredith back on April 4.

In Victoria, the number of fatal crashes has risen from 25 in 2013 to 39 last year, peaking at 48 in 2014.

Trucks kill a disproportionate number of people.

Heavy trucks make up 2.4 per cent of all registered vehicles in Australia, account for 7 per cent of all road kilometres travelled and yet are involved in 16 per cent of road crash fatalities.

In 2013, 175 people died in truck crashes on Australian roads.

Last year that number had grown to 188. And 2017 is set to be high as well with around 90 deaths in the six months to June.

The trucking industry is dominated by medium to small operators.

Around 35,000 drivers work for small companies who make up around 90 per cent of the industry and receive between 75 to 85 per cent of industry turnover. 

Under new legislation anyone in the supply chain who influences the safety outcomes of a heavy vehicle operator has a responsibility - National Heavy Vehicle Regulator executive director of safety Geoff Casey