The truck is an upgrade of the ATA’s Road Ahead safety exhibition, which has delivered the industry’s safety messages to more than 70,000 people since its launch in 2008.
The ATA’s Corporate Relations Manager, Steve Power, said the upgrade included new artwork, new displays – and a pedal car track.
“Kids really get into the pedal car track. It’s a fun way to teach basic road safety lessons like stopping at stop signs and following one way arrows,” Mr Power said.
“As you’d expect, many of the ATA’s senior staff are former truck mechanics or drivers, and they were all down on the floor helping to put the first pedal car together.”
Inside the exhibit, visitors can try their hand at customised road safety apps and earn a ‘Safety Truck licence’ by completing every level.
The Safety Truck also features animated videos that illustrate the ATA’s top tips for sharing the road safely with trucks, including the dangers of cutting in front of heavy vehicles, where the blind spots are on a truck and why heavy vehicles need plenty of space when turning.
Newcastle Road Transport Awareness Day Chairman Tony McGrath said the Safety Truck was a great success.
“It was very popular, and the kids absolutely loved it. All the people who came up to me during the day said it was fantastic,” Mr McGrath said.
The ATA donated all funds raised on the day to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.
The Chief Executive of the ATA, Stuart St Clair, said the updated exhibition would give the trucking industry more opportunities to interact with local communities across Australia.
“With the Safety Truck, we can help teach younger drivers how to stay safe when sharing the road with heavy vehicles. We’ve also got plenty of activities for children – it’s never too early to start learning about road safety,” Mr St Clair said.
“The truck will have a heavy schedule in 2014. It will be at the 2014 International Truck, Trailer and Equipment Show in April and the Bathurst 1000 in October. During the rest of the year, it will support local government road safety education programs and community events like the Newcastle Road Transport Awareness Day.”
For more information about the Safety Truck and to see the videos, visit www.safetytruck.com.au. You can also request a Safety Truck visit to your town or event.