Heavy Vehicles Travelling into Adelaide Via the South Eastern Freeway

ABC News has reported that a company is currently facing charges over a crash at the start of Adelaide’s South Eastern Freeway in 2014. It is reported that Comcare said the Operator “failed to provide adequate training and supervision to the truck’s inexperienced driver” including “instruction on safety negotiating the freeway’s steep descent from the Adelaide Hills”.

 

Comcare also said the Operator did not provide proper instructions on using arrester beds or driving a heavy vehicle with a manual gearbox.

 

We highly recommend that any heavy vehicle operator who travels into Adelaide via the South Eastern Freeway watch the video which is linked to this update.  After two fatal accidents at the bottom of the South Eastern Freeway in 2010 and 2014  An inquest in the coroner’s court in 2014 delivered recommendations including:

  • Tougher penalties, including jail, be enforced on drivers who do not use a safety ramp when their truck is out of control
  • A truck driver who exceeds speed limit of 60kph on the down stretch of the freeway automatically be charged with dangerous driving
  • Owners or companies employing drivers compensate victims and their families for crashes involving heavy vehicles
  •  compulsory training about driving downhill and using arrester beds
  • Trainee drivers should undergo specific tuition in relation to the required manner of driving on the descent of the South Eastern Freeway
  • A truck driver must be supervised when driving down the South Eastern Freeway for the first time and the accompanying driver must have demonstrated experience and competence on that down-track
  • No heavy vehicle licence of any kind should be issued to any person in Australia unless they have demonstrated competence in the safe negotiation of the decent on the South Eastern Freeway
  • Speed limit for heavy vehicles be reduced to 40km/h on the down track
  • Improved signage, including informing drivers that heavy penalties apply if trucks and buses do not use low gear
  • Promote arrester bed use
  • Roadworthiness and maintenance be brought within the chain of responsibility
  • All heavy vehicles be subjected to a periodic and frequent inspection regime
  • Investigating the capability of technology to detect the speed of a heavy vehicle and tell a driver that their speed is excessive and they needed to use a safety ramp
  • Consideration given to the creation of an area situated between the Heysen Tunnels and the second arrester bed to be used for Consideration be given to the creation of an area situated between the Heysen Tunnels and the second arrester bed to be used for the mandatory stopping of all heavy vehicles with a further requirement that if the vehicle is incapable of stopping at that area, the driver must use the second safety ramp