Use truck and trailer stability control to save 148 lives
The Chair of the Australian Trucking Association – Geoff Crouch stated that the Australian Government could save a massive 148 lives this year by mandating stability control features for all new trucks and trailers on Australian roads.
The Australian Trucking association recently released its response to the Infrastructure Department’s regulatory impact statement on the mandating of stability control features for all heavy vehicles.
What is stability control? Stability control is a safety system for vehicles that monitors both the stability and sideways acceleration of a heavy vehicle, if the stability control senses a rollover starting it kicks in the brakes to stop, or assist stopping with a rollover occurring.
The regulatory impact statement has recommended that stability control systems should be required in all new prime movers that weigh more than 12 tonnes, and for newly registered trailers that weight more than 10 tonnes. The new technology will not need to be fitted to new rigid trucks.
The Australian Trucking Association recommends that the Australian Government should go much further than this. According to Mr Crouch – *The Government should lean on safety and mandate stability control for all new trucks and trailers, including rigid trucks with only narrow exceptions*
The Australian Trucking Association’s approach would save up to 148 lives this year and prevent up to 1,496 serious injuries. This means it would save 24 more lives and prevent 412 more serious injuries, then the amounts specified in the Regulatory Impact Statement.
Of course, this does mean that there will be an added cost on businesses – approximately $117 million in total, but this money would be spread over a period of many years and will cover every industry that buys new trucks. It is a cost we should be willing to pay. In reality, the additional outlay would be very small compared to the safety benefits, you can’t put a price on a life, or how a death or injury will impact on those left behind.
Mr Crouch added * The benefits from the Australian Trucking Association’s approach would be more than twice the costs. That’s more than the benefit to cost ratio of requiring electronic stability control for new passenger cars*
Due to issues in the technology and the rough conditions faced by road trains in rural and remote areas of Australia new road train converter dollies wold be exempt from the ESC requirement. Non-standard low loaders would also be exempt.
The Australian Trucking Association is the body that represents trucking operators. The ATA’s members include transport industry associations, major logistic companies and businesses with leading expertise in truck technology.
Following the Grafton truck and bus smash in October 1989 the Australian Trucking Association was founded to improve the trucking industry’s professionalism, safety and viability. This accident in 1989 at the time was the worst accident in Australia road transport history and claimed a total of 21 lives.
The Australian Trucking Association published its twentieth anniversary history, which covered all the key events that started the formation of the Australian Trucking Association, along with details and stories of the *larger than life* personalities that got involved.
How the Australian Trucking Industry is structured
- ATA Constitution – as with many national associations, the Australian Trucking Association is a public company limited by guarantee. The constitution sets out the structure and decision-making arrangement in detail.
- General Council – The Australian Trucking Association General Council guides the industries policies and consists of its direct and past members, past chairs and elected representatives of owner drivers and small fleet operators.
- Board of Management – is responsible for financial oversight of the association and sets its strategic direction.
- Industry Technical Council – consists of businesses with leading expertise in truck technology. The ITC provides the Australian Trucking Association with advice on technical issues and develops its technical advisory procedures.