The 304-game Broncos champion Sam Thaiday is the newest face to join the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) ‘We All Need Space’ campaign.
The rugby league legend, who is known for his tough and uncompromising stance on the field, says it’s important for motorists to show the same relentlessness when it comes to road safety.
“So many of us get behind the wheel of a car every day; to get to work, do school drop offs and for me, back in the day, head to training,” Thaiday said.
“But unfortunately, we often forget to stop and think more deeply about our behaviour behind the wheel.
“In rugby league, especially as a second rower, I always aimed to give my opponents as little space as possible and break down their defence.
“While the opposition may not need space on the field, trucks sure do on our roads!”
Minister for Transport and Main Roads Mark Bailey MP says important for more road users to understand the difference between driving a truck compared to a car.
“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility, and it’s critical for motorists to understand trucks are extremely different to cars,” Bailey said.
“Apart from the obvious – say an extra 35 tonnes for a semi-trailer – they are significantly more difficult to manoeuvre.
“For example, trucks have vastly different blind spots to cars, and driving too closely behind, alongside or in front of a truck, is extremely dangerous.
“That’s why it’s incredibly important for motorists to give trucks the space they need.”
NHVR CEO Sal Petroccitto OAM says the We All Need Space campaign is about bringing all road users in on the conversation around what they can do to stay safe when out and about on Australian roads.
Since the campaign began in June, it has already reached over four million people online.
“Now, having someone like Sam, who has transitioned from an NRL fan favourite to a wonderful community ambassador, come onboard to help us spread this important safety message is fantastic,” added Petroccitto.
“With more than one million registered heavy vehicles across the country, it’s essential all road users understand how to drive safely around them.”
As part of his involvement in the campaign, Thaiday’s social media will feature safety videos on topics like being aware of truck blind spots, not overtaking a turning truck and leave trucks more space to brake.