Industry News, Research

Australian Churchill Fellowship winner to study truck safety

Australia’s Michael Holmes, Transport for NSW safety coordinator, has gained an NRMA-ACT Road Safety Trust Churchill Fellowship to investigate best practice to improve heavy vehicle safety in urban environments.

“Through this fellowship, I will be looking to worldwide examples of best practice in improving heavy vehicle safety in urban environments,” Holmes said.

“In particular, I’m looking at rigid heavy vehicles and vehicles up to 19m articulated combinations involved in the removal of waste, delivery of last mile freight and construction heavy vehicles associated with major infrastructure and construction projects.

“My research will look at managing heavy vehicles safety in major cities, particular inner urban, built-up environments and CBD locations, where two thirds of Australia’s population currently reside.”

In recent times, there have been significant safety advancements in the UK and European countries such as Sweden around vehicle design, updated regulations, accreditation schemes, professional competency and training programs for drivers and transport professionals.

“These countries are leading the world in road safety, particularly since introducing the Vision Zero Safe System approach to road safety,” Holmes continued.

“They are also applying innovative and sustainable methods of planning and managing construction logistics in urban centres.

“I’m working to see how these lessons can be applied in Australia and provide benefits to both our communities and industry in managing the safety of road transport.

“This could be through guiding public policy or industry with best practice approaches that can be applied to the Australian environment.”

Holmes has been leading the development and implementation of various heavy vehicle safety and compliance initiatives to improve construction transport safety across Australia’s biggest public transport project, the Sydney Metro.

He works with industry and government stakeholders to improve safety standards, encourage innovation, raise awareness through road safety campaigning, and promote education and awareness of Chain of Responsibility throughout the project’s extensive supply-chains to ensure the safety of both commercial and public road users during the delivery of current and future Sydney Metro projects.

Holmes also recently won the Best Paper by a New Practitioner Award at the Australasian Road Safety Conference for his paper titled Managing vulnerable road user safety in urban environments during construction of major transport infrastructure projects.

It is the second truck safety-related Churchill Fellowship to be awarded in recent times, following on from road traffic and safety advocate Rod Hannifey in late 2016.

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