Safety conditions for truck drivers are set to improve, thanks to a $40 million funding grant announced by federal minister for infrastructure and transport Anthony Albanese last week (September 5).
The grant is intended to upgrade Australia's major highways across states and territories. Mr Albanese said that this will make the roads safer for truck drivers, and is an acknowledgement of their hard work.
"Every day on every road, the trucking industry and the people who work in it deliver the basic necessities that we rely on as part of life," reads the statement.
"For these people, the nation's roads are their workplace and the federal Labor government has more than doubled the roads budget to improve and upgrade Australia's major highways."
In addition to these upgrades, Mr Albanese also announced that the funding would assist in the construction of more rest stops – infrastructure that is very important for long-haul workers.
"As well as extra spending on highways, we are building even more places where truck drivers can pull over to take a break, catch up on sleep and check or re-configure their vehicles," he said.
He is inviting interested parties to apply for funding from Round Three of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program for 2012-13 and 2013-14.
It is great to see the government investing in the safety of truck drivers. Working in this industry often means putting in long hours and driving at all times of the day.
It is therefore important that they are vigilant about taking breaks and ensuring that they are alert and focused.
Losing concentration when behind the wheel of a heavy duty vehicle more often than not results in accidents.
In New South Wales alone, trucks are involved in one in five road fatalities, according to operations commander of the traffic and highway patrol command superintendent Stuart Smith.
Late last month, superintendent Smith and his team conducted 'Operation Steel' alongside the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS).
This operation targeted heavy duty vehicles – they were enforcing law in regards to speed, load restraint and general vehicle standards.
They issued several infringement notices and performed hundreds of random drug and alcohol tests.
"Crashes involving heavy vehicles are far more likely to be serious, so it is of paramount importance that truck companies and truck drivers take extra care to ensure their vehicles comply with the speed limits, vehicle standards and load restraint guidelines set by the RMS," superintendent Smith asserted.
If you or a family member are ever involved in this type of crash, then you may be eligible for truck accident injury compensation.
There are lawyers in Sydney who operate on a no win no fee basis that may be able to assist you in making a claim.