The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) has announced a $5.5 million investment in heavy vehicle safety projects under round 8 of the Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative (HVSI).

The HVSI, run by the NHVR, "supports implementable, value-for-money projects that deliver tangible improvements to heavy vehicle safety." The program is federally funded and has injected more than $33 million into approved projects since commencing in 2016.

In this round, the HVSI will support 21 new industry safety projects. Of these, 12 heavy vehicle safety initiatives will receive $3.8 million in funding. These projects include a focus on:

  • roadside health and wellbeing screening – this is an important initiative given the growing concern that drivers exhibit some of the poorest health conditions across any industry. The sedentary nature of their work and the long hours can significantly impact a driver's body and overall wellbeing. Therefore, investment in initiatives that minimise these effects is worthwhile
  • driver training – drivers are at the coal face of heavy vehicle safety but perhaps less likely than other supply chain workers to find the time or focus to dedicate to self-led training and development. Continued investment and focus on driver training is key to ensuring safer supply chains
  • increasing vulnerable road user safety – initiatives like the "Don't #uck With a Truck" campaign highlight how important it is to get the message of shared on-road safety across to all road users. This initiative looks set to continue these lessons.

A further $1.7 million has been allocated across nine dedicated Chain of Responsibility (CoR) safety training and education projects. These projects will focus on off-road parties and are targeted at executives and managers, international freight forwarding and logistics businesses and users of transport services who act as consignors or consignees.

We have seen the NHVR increase its focus on raising awareness and promoting education initiatives for businesses up and down the road transport supply chain. It is good to see that continued efforts will be placed on these key CoR safety stakeholders.

Some of the funded projects in round 8 include:

  • National Bulk Tanker Association's "Learning from near misses to improve tanker safety" project – this is a partnership between transport operators, telematics suppliers and brake operators to collect and share roll stability systems data to increase visibility and understanding of near miss events and their locations
  • Queensland Trucking Association's "Think. Act. Drive" – this is a unique online-delivered driver behaviour training program available to all heavy vehicle drivers. Through a mix of video and educational campaigns and some online competitive elements to increase enjoyment, this program aims to reinforce driver knowledge and improve performance
  • The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Australia's "Development framework for national driver supervisors" – which will develop the heavy vehicle driver supervisor operational framework, training material and required qualifications and experience for a new proposed heavy vehicle driver supervisor role.

You can find the full list of recipients in this round's funding (and prior rounds) on the NHVR's website. If you are interested in any of these projects, please contact the project owner. Many of the project outputs are made publicly available for anyone to use.

The more we prioritise safety and work together, the safer our roads will be.

This publication does not deal with every important topic or change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named individuals listed.