7 Aug 2008

Logging truck safety accord to be signed

6:36 pm on 7 August 2008

An agreement designed to further improve logging truck safety on the roads, will be signed by truck operators, forest owners and Government officials in Wellington on Thursday.

The Log Transport Safety Accord was developed after several high-profile fatal crashes in the late 1990's, which involved log trucks rolling over into the path of on-coming traffic.

A 1997 study conducted showed log trucks were four times more likely than the average heavy vehicle to roll over.

Since the accord was first signed in 2001, there's been a 65% reduction in log truck crashes, and a 75% reduction in rollover crashes, despite rapid growth in the logging industry.

A member of the Land Transport Safety Council, Mark McCarthy, says the drop in the number of crashes is largely due to longer, more stable trucks being allowed on the roads.

The updated accord will bring in extra safety mesures for logging trucks. Matters like improving driver education will also be looked at.