An eye-catching Lindsay Transport B-double with a difference rolls out from this week, all in the name of road safety.
The trailer freatures striking imagery of three barramundi on the side to help promote safer travelling distances between trucks and motorists.
The front trailer is emblazoned with the message, ‘Be a Mate. Don’t Tailgate’, and the rear asks drivers to, ‘Leave a 3-second gap while driving behind trucks, with three images of barramundi underneath with ‘1 Barramundi, 2 Barramundi and 3 Barramundi’ underneath as a visual tool to help motorists count a safe space.
The Queensland Trucking Association (QTA) has partnered with the Motor Acccident Insurance Commission (MAIC) for the campaign, the second in its Safety Trailer Partnership Program.
The project kicked off earlier this year with Transurban and its ‘Are you in my blind spot?’ safety messaging on a Followmont Transport B-double trailer set.
QTA CEO Gary Mahon says the barramundi follow-up with MAIC, which launched at a media event in Brisbane on Monday, is a big message board that will hopefully strike a chord with a motorists and remind them to keep their distance.
“We’re hoping that line, ‘Be a mate, don’t tailgate’ is a line that will catch on a bit,” said Mahon.
“There will be in the vicinity of eight of these [safety trailers] operating by the end of next year .
“WorkCover, for example, is also working with us, and their messaging is going to be more around managing attitude and mental health.
“These billboards will last somewhere between two to four years with those skins. It’s a pretty decent investment and we’re going to be seeing these billboards all around the place. You’re just as likely to see them in Adelaide as you are in Cairns.”
Mahon says key partners such as Transurban, MAIC and WorkCover, are keen to partner with industry to show that “we have some skin in the game”.
“We’re trying to reinforce and add to the messaging, and we think it helps with our drivers too to see that we’re out there trying to push that message for them too.”
Matthew Waugh, MAIC manager research and grants, says as regulator of the Queensland CTP insurance scheme, they were keen to be involved due to one in two of the new claims being rear-end crashes.
“The research tells us that the predominant reason for that is people are following too close,” said Waugh.
“The rule that is applied is that you allow two seconds to the vehicle in front, but with this campaign we’ve allowed three seconds because that’s to identify that trucks take longer to decelerate.
“The message is also not just about following the truck. Sometimes we know that our truck drivers leave a safe distance to the vehicle in front, then people cut in front of them as well and that ends up being an issue.”
Waugh says one of the elements that MAIC really liked about the QTA trailer concept is the ability to deliver its ‘message in the moment’.
“You hope that if someone does see the message that they take that time to have a think about how they’re driving in that very moment, and that message might stick with them for a little while, and they might adjust their behaviour if they need to.”
Waugh says that MAIC’s scheme data tells it that when a heavy vehicle is involved in a crash, the consequences on those involved in terms of personal injury is often more significant.
“The message that we would say is that you just need to be aware that a truck is very unique circumstance for people who are driving them.
“They can’t slow down, their visibility of you isn’t as high so you just have to have that extra caution and leave that bigger gap, and not cut in front of them.”
“It must be very frustrating for truck drivers that someone just cuts straight in front of them, and that puts pressure on them to brake hard.”