The reception the latest truck accident figures received last week in the media is a timely reminder of how important it is to do the research and then use that research wisely in getting behaviour or policy change.
The National Truck Accident Research Centre (NTARC) report using the 2017 accident data from NTI Australia was released at Trucking Australia 19 last week. The launch was well-managed with TV crews on hand to interview Adam Gibson, who compiled the NTARC report, and Geoff Crouch, Australian Trucking Association Chair.
Even more importantly, snippets from those interviews and other footage made its way on to Australian TV screens without being hijacked by the anti-truck element in some of the more tabloid TV stations.
This result shows the value of a well-managed media strategy. It also shows how powerful good well targeted research can be. It cuts though a lot of the misconceptions and misrepresentations the trucking industry suffers from so often.
In the future these statistics are going to be coming out on an annual basis to give the trucking lobby a higher level of consistent evidence of the industry’s role in self-improvement.
It is a fact that the most effective weapon around all of these issues is good data. This good data then needs an effective method of getting the message out without getting distorted by the anti-trucking lobby.
On the evidence of the last week it looks like trucking is starting to get a little bit media savvy. However, we have got a long way to go yet.