The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is stepping up its efforts to reduce truck crashes on State Highway 1 in North Canterbury.
Since 2003 there have been 53 truck roll over crashes on State Highway 1 between Christchurch and Kaikoura with 15 of these in the last five years being fatal or serious injury crashes. So far this year there have been seven truck roll over crashes, one of them fatal and five involving serious injury.
NZTA Southern Region Access and Use Manager Greg Allnutt says the aim is to make further reductions in truck crashes on this section of state highway, especially single heavy vehicle rollover crashes on corners with speed advisory signs. From next month, truck operators who have a vehicle involved in a ‘driver at fault’ roll over crash on a speed advisory corner can expect much closer compliance checking from the NZTA and the Police. This increased and targeted compliance will include the operators’ vehicles speeds, driver log books and vehicle safety standards.
“The management and staff of transport firms have a major influence on the attitudes and behaviour of their drivers, and they have the power to reward safe driving and foster a safe driving culture. The NZTA is keen to work together with operators to make this happen”.
Mr Allnutt says that since May the NZTA has been running a “Keep it 10 below” campaign to educate truck drivers about the dangers of exceeding the posted limits on speed advisory corners. While some have taken this message on board, the crash figures show there still too many choosing to ignore this message. Stronger measures are now required to ensure that truck drivers complied with speed advisories on corners, in order to protect the safety of all road users in the region.
We’ve been fortunate that none of these single vehicle truck crashes on speed advisory corners have involved other road users. The consequences of a truck cornering too quickly and colliding with another vehicle or vehicles would be disastrous,” he said.
Letters are being sent to truck operators who regularly use State Highway 1 in North Canterbury outlining the new safety measures that have the support of the NZ Road Transport Association and NZ Trucking Association.