An industry-first driver simulator is expected to have its first trainees behind the wheel within a matter of weeks.
Officials cut the ribbon on the HVSim – a $450,000 investment by federal and state governments – at the official opening of the South Australian Road Transport Association’s new HQ at the weekend.
Designed by Adelaide-based simulator specialist Oktal Sydac and loaded on a purpose-built trailer from ALDOM Transport Engineering, the HVSim will be transported around SA to give drivers of all levels the chance to hone their skills on some of the state’s most challenging roadways.
SA Minister for Transport Corey Wingard said the simulator will also be used to conduct research into driver behaviour and road design testing.
The NHVR chipped in $350,000 to pay for the equipment, with a further $100,000 coming from the state.
Transport Minister Michael McCormack said the cutting-edge simulator would help existing and learner heavy vehicle drivers navigate the South Eastern Freeway descent for example, with a focus on improving safety behind the wheel.
“Truck drivers will undergo training and assessments in the simulator and there is scope for expanding the program to cover other high-risk routes in South Australia and across the country,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.
“The Australian Government takes road safety seriously because no family should have to endure the devastation caused by road crashes.
“That is why we continue investing in critical initiatives to improve road safety to save lives and reduce road trauma, including across our heavy vehicle sector.”
NHVR CEO, Sal Petroccitto, said the simulator was an example of how the regulator and SARTA were working with the South Australian and Federal Governments to deliver a great outcome for local heavy vehicle drivers.
“The simulator was partly funded by the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative, supported by the Federal Government, which has delivered $22.8 million across 89 grants in five years,” said Petroccitto.
“Through these grants and with the support of organisations like SARTA and the South Australian Government we can continue to drive down the number of crashes involving heavy vehicles on our roads.”