Vulnerable Road Users and Heavy Vehicles

25 September 2018

The NSW building boom has seen the number of heavy vehicles moving through communities increase.  Awareness campaigns remind bike riders to take care, but a safe systematic approach is necessary to address the real dangers.

On average 58 people are killed per year in heavy truck crashes and 1391 suffer serious injuries. Bicycle NSW supports the NSW Towards Zero campaign, but more needs to be done to prevent accidents.

The Transurban submission Inquiry into heavy vehicle safety and the use of technology to improve road safety recommends that NSW mandate the implementation of proven heavy vehicle safety systems including:

  • 360 degree vision,
  • blind spot detection and turning warnings (either visual or auditory) that alert drivers to their surroundings and other road users, particularly the most vulnerable (pedestrians, cyclist and motorcyclists)
  • crash avoidance technologies including Auto Emergency Braking, Electronic Stability and Roll Stability Control Programs, and Lane Departure Warnings

Transurban also encourages industry adoption of vehicle design measures that reduce injury severity including under run barriers, flat nosed cabins and low height cabins that allow drivers to see vulnerable road users.

“People riding bikes can’t do anything extra to protect themselves from the heavy vehicle behind them or the one that pulls up alongside them in traffic.  Some truck companies have led the way adopting safe systems, and we want Government to bring everyone up to this standard.” Said NSW Public Affairs Manager, Bastien Wallace.

Transport for London has mandated many of these standards for heavy vehicles operating within it as a safe systems approach to protecting people who walk and ride bikes.  Bicycle NSW is calling for the NSW Government to adopt these measures as a matter of urgency to protect vulnerable road users in our state.