Bicycle NSW is calling for all heavy vehicles to be fitted with side underrun protection. Here’s what it means and why it matters. Side underrun protection devices look like rails fitted to the sides of heavy vehicles in the spaces between the wheels.
According to the Australian Trucking Association:
“Side underrun protection devices protect road users such as pedestrians and cyclists from slipping sideways under the wheels of trucks and trailers, and can also improve the aerodynamic performance of heavy vehicles.”
If a crash occurs as a heavy vehicle is turning or is at a right angles to a pedestrian, motorcycle or bike rider, they can be knocked over and fall between the sets of wheels as the truck moves forward. Side underrun protection rails help push the person away from, rather than under, the wheels of the truck.
This can have a big impact on crash survival. Bicycle NSW has called for the Federal Government to require all heavy vehicles to be fitted with these devices and to assist smaller operators with the cost of upgrades.
“We’ve seen a disturbing increase in injury and death rates in crashes involving heavy vehicles in NSW,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“Construction projects call for more vehicle movements in urban environments and using this technology could help ensure that fewer mistakes are fatal,” said Bastien.
Bicycle NSW is encouraging people to share pictures of heavy vehicles with us so we can ‘shout out’ the heavy vehicle operators with these devices, and those who need a hand catching up. We then tag images with #SafeTruckStandards and share them to remind politicians how important this issue is.
We are also encouraging members to have their say on the national heavy vehicle law review to improve road safety for everyone.