Opinion

SafeT360 saving young lives

young road users

Research shows us that young road users have a big knowledge gap when it comes to understanding how to share the road safely with trucks.

Things like avoiding truck blind spots and not cutting in would seem like common sense behaviours to those in the industry, but these unwritten rules are not taught to our learner car drivers.

Sixteen to 25-year-olds are the most overrepresented demographic involved in crashes on our roads – and SafeT360 is working to change this.

The evidence-based road safety exhibition puts young road users in the virtual driver’s seat to see things from a truck driver’s perspective. SafeT360 gives young road users an understanding of where a truck’s blind spots are, how long it takes a truck to stop, and the dangers of distraction.

Since launching in 2019, SafeT360 has welcomed thousands of young car drivers, cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists into its exhibition, giving them the core knowledge needed to keep themselves and other road users safe.

The impacts of SafeT360 have been clear and the positive response from industry and the wider community has been wonderful. SafeT360’s comprehensive program has already been recognised internationally, with the ATA excited to bring the campaign to New Zealand, thanks to a new partnership with the New Zealand Trucking Association (NTA).

When increasing road safety awareness and saving young lives, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. SafeT360 has done the research, we have created the content and proven that it effectively engages its target audience. Its interactive messaging and resources are applicable to all young people, whether in Australia or across the ditch.

NTA have shown their commitment to SafeT360 and the safety of young road users, visiting and experiencing the exhibition in full swing at the recent Brisbane Truck Show, before they kick off the redesign of the New Zealand Road Safety Truck to install the SafeT360 program.

The ATA and NTA share common values of road safety, and our one clear goal is to save lives, not just in Australia but globally.

As SafeT360 expands internationally, closer to home we are formally evaluating the program to generate lasting peer-reviewed research that can be used by researchers and road safety practitioners around the world.

While SafeT360 is an immersive and educational initiative, it was also designed to enable research that government and industry can draw on in developing future campaigns.

Currently, there is a worldwide lack of good quality research into road safety communication and behavioural change projects. Governments throughout the world spend millions on education and communication campaigns, but they are rarely formally evaluated.

To address this, we have teamed up with the University of Newcastle School of Psychology to deliver a research project that will provide valuable insight into safety initiatives, and how organisations can deliver the most effective communications and campaigns possible.

With our New Zealand partnership, academic research project and a full national tour currently underway, SafeT360 is going from strength to strength.

To date, SafeT360 has welcomed more than 4000 visitors through the exhibition and reached over 2 million people through our online campaigns.

SafeT360 is a game-changer for road safety research and initiatives. The exhibition and the research project are a clear demonstration of the trucking industry’s contribution to road safety leadership.

Learn more about SafeT360 at safet360.com.au.

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