PROTECTING ANY VULNERABLE ROAD USER IS ONE OF THE TOP 9 PRIORITY AREAS OF THE AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY STRATEGY 2021-30. TWO OF THE OTHER NINE PRIORITIES ARE HEAVY VEHICLE SAFETY AND WORKPLACE ROAD SAFETY. THESE ARE ALL AREAS THAT SGESCO-MAX ARE STRONGLY COMMITTED TO.
Increasingly, there are more people on our roads, and that includes a vulnerable road user: bike, scooter, or e-bike riders; motorbike riders, and even pedestrians. They have minimal physical protection, and in the event of a crash come off second best. The probability of death or serious injury for unprotected road users increases exponentially with increasing vehicle size and speed.
The 2021-30 Strategy aims to reduce the rates of death and serious injury from road crashes over the next ten years, and to support a long term vision of zero deaths in Australia by 2050.
Read on to understand more about international regulations now starting to impact Australia, and our MAX-SAFE safety solutions designed to protect Vulnerable Road Users (VRU).
HIGH NUMBER OF VRU DEATHS
Alarmingly, in 2018, Vulnerable Road Users (VRU) in Australia accounted for 36 percent of total road deaths; and in urban areas, almost one third of all road crash deaths were pedestrians. In Sydney, from 2015 to 2019, 51% of fatalities involved in heavy truck crashes in Sydney region were vulnerable road users. Source.
It was noted that, for many crashes, heavy vehicle blind spots were a contributing factor.
The problem is compounded by VRUs not being aware of:
- The limitations of heavy/commercial vehicles, particularly articulated ones, in terms of response times, braking and turning.
- The blind spots that many heavy vehicles grapple with when the driver is on the Right Hand Side and the vehicle is turning left.
MORE STRINGENT VEHICLE SAFETY REQUIREMENTS
In the coming decade there will be increasing safety regulations levelled by all levels of government to provide greater protection to Vulnerable Road Users – this will require additional safety equipment becoming standard on all medium to large vehicles.
This is already happening in Europe and London, when a report found that 55 % of cyclist fatalities in London between 2008 and 2013 involved a heavy goods vehicle, many of which were construction vehicles. Following the report, the UK construction logistics industry identified actions to improve road safety, which led to the establishment of a single standard, known as the “CLOCS Standard”, now recognised as a world leading approach due to its rapid success.
WIDELY RECOGNISED AS WORLD’S BEST PRACTICE IN PROTECTION FOR VRUS, EVALUATIONS SHOWED CLOCS ACHIEVED:
reduction in fatal and serious crashes between heavy vehicles and VRUs