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Published: 2012-07-06 00:00:00

Halfway through a six month road safety education campaign, anecdotal evidence suggests Waikato truck drivers are taking on board the messages being promoted, says Waikato Regional Council.

Waikato Truck LegendsThe Waikato Truck Legends road safety campaign was launched in April by the Regional Road Safety Education Group. It involves a limited edition collector’s card series featuring Waikato trucks. Each card also has a unique road safety message aimed at heavy vehicle drivers and prizes will be on offer to those who collect all 10 in the series.

Campaign coordinator Monique Haines, of Waikato Regional Council, said: “From both drivers and key road safety stakeholders in the region I am getting fabulous feedback on the cards and the messaging.

“It’s clear from this feedback that drivers are learning what behaviour they need to observe and the importance of well-maintained vehicles.

“Lots of heavy vehicle drivers are already doing the right thing to minimise the crash risk on our roads. In the long term, as a result of this campaign, we would expect to see even better driver compliance, leading to reduced trauma on Waikato roads,” Mrs Haines said.

Sergeant Gilbert Williams, of Waikato’s commercial vehicle investigation unit (CVIU), said cards are being handed out by officers every week to truck drivers.

“Even when a truck has been stopped for an offence, or an offence has been detected during a routine stop, presenting a Waikato Truck Legends card almost always ensures the driver leaves on a positive note.

“Truck drivers are often asking us about the cards unprompted, which gives us the opportunity to discuss the key road safety messages in the series and ensure the importance of heeding them is understood,” Sergeant Williams said.

National Road Carriers executive officer Grant Turner said combining safety and image are the fundamentals to a successful road safety campaign.

“Road safety and image are the two things important to a successful road transport business and they tend to work in harmony,” he said. “Usually, a well presented truck is one that is well looked after and that includes the running gear that needs regular checks and maintenance to make sure the truck is safe for the road.

“It is more than pride in your ride but pride in your performance and that includes having a safe vehicle and driving it in a manner that complements your skill and allows for others mistakes. This is what makes a highway legend,” Mr Turner said.

The Waikato Regional Road Safety Education Group is led by Waikato Regional Council, working in conjunction with other regional safety stakeholders including the NZTA, NZ Police, ACC and councils.

The fifth card in the series due out on Monday (9 July) features a Kenworth T408 logging truck from Alan Forbes Transport Ltd in Tokoroa. The message encourages drivers to check loads at the start of each trip, then 50-100km down the road and in between loads.

Cards from the limited edition collector’s series can be requested by visiting the website: www.reducetherisk.co.nz.