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Published: 2011-09-22 00:00:00

A new campaign launched in the Waikato this week aims to improve the safety of heavy vehicles travelling on the region’s roads.

The ‘Give me 5’ campaign runs over three months until December and reminds truck drivers of the need to conduct regular load and maintenance checks.

It is the second module of the Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group’s heavy motor vehicle strategy and was developed in conjunction with National Road Carriers, the Road Transport Association, NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit.

The campaign encourages truck drivers to carry out a thorough inspection of their vehicles. This has been narrowed down to a top five checklist, resulting in the ‘Give me 5’ tagline:

  • Load security: Check load security at the start of each trip, 50-100km down the road and between loads.
  • Tyres: Perform a visual check of tyres for wear and tear, check tyre pressure.
  • General connections: Check belts, hose and trailer connections.
  • Fluid levels: Check fuel, oil and windscreen washer fluid levels.
  • Lights: Ensure all lights, including indicator and brake lights, are working.

Waikato Regional Council road safety coordinator Monique Haines said: “This latest campaign builds on the work we’ve already been doing to ensure the vehicle is safe to operate. Ultimately it could lead to less unexpected breakdowns, a reduction in crashes caused by vehicle faults and long term savings for businesses.”

Steve Woodward from National Road Carriers fronts the campaign and said: “As an industry association we applaud and support schemes and innovation that promote a safer work environment for our membership, the industry and the general public.

“The ‘Give me 5’ campaign makes those that choose to make a living in the road transport industry aware of our obligations when operating on our national highways,” Mr Woodward said.

Look out for the series of billboards which have been erected along key freight routes passing through the Waikato. They are on SH2, SH1 between Mercer and Huntly, SH1 between Cambridge and Piarere (both north and south bound), and SH39 in both directions between Waitomo, Otorohanga and Pirongia.

Trucks are involved in 15 per cent of all the region’s crashes and in 40 per cent of cases the heavy vehicle rolls over. Truck drivers have been found at fault in about half the crashes they’re involved in.

The first module of the heavy vehicle strategy began earlier this year with the ‘Keep it 10 below’ campaign, encouraging a reduction of speed on bends. ‘Keep it 10 below’ was also a reminder to drivers of the maximum 90kph open road speed limit and the need to travel at least 10kph below the advertised advisory speed on corners.

Waikato Regional Council leads the education group in conjunction with other regional safety stakeholders, including the NZTA, New Zealand Police, ACC and local councils.

For further information, visit www.reducetherisk.co.nz.