COVID-19 Updates

South Australian Border Crash An Avoidable Tragedy

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) extends its condolences to the family of the driver killed in a fatal crash near the South Australian border with Victoria early this morning.

NatRoad CEO, Warren Clark, also wished those injured in the crash a speedy recovery.

“At a systemic level, the hazards created by long queues and vehicles rushing to their destination following a sudden announcement about border closures need examination,” Mr Clark said.

“There is a national freight protocol that has been agreed by the National Cabinet. NatRoad urges all State and Territory Governments to abide by these rules. Sudden border closures are heightening road safety risks and should be re-thought.

“In addition, wherever possible there should be dedicated freight lanes on interstate highways to help the industry keep the nation’s essential supplies moving.

“Sudden border closures not only disrupt the general public but have serious effects on heavy vehicle drivers’ fatigue management, the timely delivery of goods, as well as creating safety concerns.

“Additionally, NatRoad’s long-held view is that a dedicated authority such as the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) should be given the power to promptly and fully investigate serious truck accidents, such as this accident, and to share the results and recommendations publicly so that all industry participants can take the appropriate action to reduce the road toll. That role should also encompass better research on trends and causal factors relating to heavy vehicle crashes as well as the effects of COVID-19 restrictions. Currently, both data and research are inadequate to formulate benchmarks to properly measure ways to improve road safety.

“NatRoad has a deep commitment to improving road safety. Measures which will help the community achieve fewer road incidents must be prioritised and the management of COVID-19 should not add to road safety concerns,” Mr Clark concluded.