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Premier Award In Log Transport Safety

Premier Award In Log Transport Safety

A big drop in log truck crashes during a time of rapid growth in the industry has earned the Log Transport Safety Council the Premier Award in the latest New Zealand Road Safety Innovation and Achievement Awards.

A 65 percent reduction in log truck crashes and a 75 percent reduction in rollover crashes over the past seven years have helped the logging industry move from one of the most unsafe in commercial transport to one of the best.

The improvements in safety have been achieved through a range of measures including improved vehicle design and driver behaviour. The Log Transport Safety Council has worked with transport operators, forest owners, government agencies and researchers to make significant improvements to road safety in the sector.

Driver behaviour has also been targeted through training, safety awareness campaigns and an ‘0800 LOGTRUCK’ compliments and complaints system.

The Log Transport Safety Council also receives this year's award for Road Safety in Organisations.

The Road Safety Innovation and Achievement Awards are being presented at a ceremony hosted at Parliament today by Transport Safety Minister Hon Harry Duynhoven. The prize-giving is the culmination of the third national awards programme for breakthroughs in New Zealand road safety.

The winners of three other award categories will also be announced.

Transit New Zealand’s 700m wire rope median barrier on Centennial Highway has won in the Road Safety Road Engineering category.

The Coast Road Median Barrier Project has made a narrow coastal section of State Highway 1 north of Wellington a much safer road, and achieved a world first in road safety engineering in the process.

Two fatal head-on crashes occurred on the stretch of Centennial Highway in 2004. Transit New Zealand responded quickly and together with companies MWH NZ Ltd and Road Services Ltd investigated, designed and constructed the median barrier in just three months. No have occurred since the barrier was installed in December 2004, and footage from cameras installed at the site shows that four potential head-on collisions have been prevented.

Driver behaviour and confidence has also improved. The surveillance footage shows drivers are now positioning themselves more centrally in the lane, giving more separation between opposing vehicles.

The 'Road Safety Education' Award goes to Kids on Feet (KOF), Tauranga’s Greerton Village School dual purpose programme for improving road safety and promoting student health and fitness.

The programme, involving several community agencies, set up drop off zones away from the school gate, a KOF card which recorded each child’s ‘mileage’ and the training and involvement of Year 6 students (Ambassadors).

By the end of last year 45% of students were walking to school from the drop off zone, 65% were walking home, and the school gate chaos was eliminated. This exceeded the school’s expectations.

Two very different but equally innovative programmes have been chosen as the joint winners of the community category of the annual Road Safety Innovation and Achievement Awards.

The Community Injury Prevention team of Turanga Health in Gisborne made road safety funky and interesting for 10 to 18-year-old Gisborne Maori youths. They developed the Survival Idol, ‘compose a road safety song’ competition.

Twenty-nine schools in the Turanga Health region were offered the opportunity to watch a presentation and enter songs in the competition. The presentation was based on the experiences of Gisborne man Tamati Paul, a former surf lifesaving and outrigger canoe champion and an aspiring international kayaking competitor who was nearly killed after being hit by a repeat drink-driver near Tolaga Bay in 1998.

The result of the Survival Idol competition was a greater awareness of road safety messages among the target audience, families and schools, plus a very entertaining show.

The co-winner of the Road Safety Community award is Alcohol Management Operation (AMO) developed by Northland Rugby Referees Association.

Over the past three years 17 sports clubs have signed on to the AMO programme and accepted the challenge to promote road safety and keep their members safe. The clubs include netball, rugby, soccer, bowling, touch, league and squash.

Each sports club that signs on has an AMO Referee, a resource kit, and regular newsletters. AMO has a regular slot on a Saturday morning radio sports programme and has support from local personalities.

The programme also involves getting road safety messages to club members and spectators at after-match functions, where referees remind people to buckle uo and find a sober driver to get them home safely.

The overall result is a greater awareness of road safety, in particular drink-driving, contributing to the lowest ever road toll of 23 for Northland in 2005.


Ends

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