Annual deaths from crashes involving a heavy vehicle have decreased by nearly a third in the last decade.
The Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics has released the Road Trauma Involving Heavy Vehicles: Crash Statistics report which shows annual fatalities from crashes involving trucks and buses reduced over the last decade from 281 to 189.
The report also reveals that for heavy vehicle crashes, drivers and vehicle passengers accounted for 75 per cent of fatalities; the remainder was pedestrians (14 per cent), motorcyclists (8 per cent) and pedal cyclists (3 per cent).
Urban and regional Australia
Over two thirds of crashes involving a heavy vehicle happen outside our capital cities, with too many articulated truck crashes occurring on national and state highways.
Although these statistics are trending downwards, the Australian Government says it is committed to working together with state and territory governments to ensure our transport networks are even safer and more productive across urban and regional Australia.
"That is why we have committed a record $50 billion in the Budget to build the infrastructure for the 21st century for a stronger and more prosperous Australia," said Assistant Minister for Infrastructure & Regional Development, Jamie Briggs, via a statement.
This includes a record $500 million investment in the national Black Spot Programme and a further $2.1 billion towards Roads to Recovery over the next five years to deliver vital funding to every council across Australia to fix local roads.
"The Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme will also contribute to improving safety outcomes for heavy vehicle operations across Australia, targeting upgrades to road infrastructure and rest-areas and technology, among other projects," the statement read.
Round Four of the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity, which opened earlier this month, will deliver $40 million each financial year through to 2019 and cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of safety and productivity projects for heavy vehicles.
The Australian Government's Seatbelts on Regional School Buses programme is also continuing to increase passenger safety by subsidising the cost of fitting seatbelts to school buses on high risk regional school bus routes. Successful projects under the latest round will be announced in the coming weeks, according to the Government.
"The Australian Government will continue to monitor trends in heavy vehicle road safety and implement programmes to improve road safety and reduce fatal crashes on our roads."