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Big Rigs Deliver The ‘Drive Safe’ Message


20 November 2008

Big Rigs Stick The ‘Drive Safe’ Message To Motorists

Truckies are using their trailer gates to good advantage by urging those following behind them to drive carefully.

Based on an idea from the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Road Transport Industry Cluster Group, truck companies nationwide are now being offered A1-sized stickers designed to be fixed to the backs of trucks. The signs carry easily read safety messages prompting motorists to think about their driving behaviour and not attempt risky manoeuvres around large vehicles.

The cluster group is made up of industry representatives and is one of several that ACC set up around the country to raise and discuss safety issues relevant to the industry.

ACC Programme Manager Debbie Stearns said truck drivers consistently report that one of the biggest hazards they face on the road is other drivers. Statistics show that in 64% of fatal crashes involving a truck, the truck driver is not at fault.

``Most drivers have horror stories about the driving they’ve seen on the roads. Common stories include the car driver who doesn’t allow enough room to overtake, or who pulls in sharply following a risky overtaking manoeuvre, forcing the truck driver to take evasive action.’’

With slogans such as ‘Please pass with care, I’ll move over as soon as it’s safe’, and ‘Are you sure it's safe to overtake? Your family wants you home tonight’, truck drivers are hoping the signs will prompt other road users to behave more cautiously.

The signs were piloted by four companies, Alexander Bulk Gases, K&S Freighters, Freightlines and NZL Group. Most drivers felt the signs had an impact, noticing that more cars were hanging back and waiting for a safe place to pass, rather than attempting to overtake unsafely.

``There’s clearly a need for car drivers to exercise more patience and common sense when sharing the road with trucks and other large vehicles,’’ Ms Stearns said. ``A truck isn’t as manoeuvrable as a car, so it can’t stop or react quickly if a driver cuts in front of it. Hopefully these signs will prompt those drivers to think twice before doing something that’s potentially life-threatening.’’

The signs are being offered to all New Zealand transport companies and ACC expects demand for them to be enthusiastic. ``The idea and the messages came from the industry itself so we know the transport sector is behind it. Now we hope all other drivers will take these messages on board too,’’ Debbie Stearns said.

To order a sign phone 0800 844 657 and quote:
• ACC4819 for ``Please pass with care. I'll move over as soon as it's safe’’
• ACC 4820 for ``Are you sure it's safe to overtake? Your family wants you home tonight’’
• ACC 4821 for ``Please don't pass until it's safe. Risk takers are crash makers’’.


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