23 truck crashes in one month: campaigner calls for action

Serious truck accidents are occurring on almost a daily basis, and the government needs to act, says the car review website dogandlemon.com.

Editor Clive Matthew Wilson, who is an outspoken road safety campaigner, says:

“One of the reasons for the growing road toll is that there are simply too many trucks on the road. The percentage of the road toll involving trucks has nearly doubled since 1980. Yet the government is now proposing even larger trucks, which is madness.”

According to the police, in 2015, truck drivers were at fault in 56% of serious injury and fatal crashes they were involved in. However, Matthew-Wilson says the problem is not so much the truck drivers as the trucks themselves.

“The government keeps telling us to buy safe cars and wear seatbelts, but a safe car and a seatbelt won’t save you in an accident with a truck.”

“It's like Rottweilers sharing a cage with Chihuahuas; in the event of conflict, the outcome is inevitable.”

“Horrific accidents between trucks and cars are now a regular occurrence, especially in high traffic areas such as the Bay of Plenty.”

Matthew-Wilson adds that there are already proven, working alternatives to moving freight around in large trucks.

The Waingawa rail hub, opened by Transport Minister Simon Bridges last Monday, will carry 700 tonnes of logs to Wellington every day by rail.

“The rail network has been shipping logs from just south of Masterton since 2012. This has led to a reduction of 16,000 truck and trailer trips per year. Previously, they were carried over the Rimutaka pass and clogged the Hutt motorway.”

Matthew-Wilson believes local freight hubs, like the one at Waingawa, point the way to a safer future.

“Trucks are indispensible for specialist tasks such as picking up stock and produce. However, stock and produce should be carried to the nearest rail hub, then carried by train. That’s a solution that would work well for everyone. It’s a system already in use by organisations such as Fonterra.”

“The government needs to be actively promoting these rail hubs up and down the country. Any other strategy will result in multiple deaths on a regular basis.”

“Trucks make up just 2.5% of the vehicle fleet, yet in 2015, 58 people died in accidents involving trucks. This was close to 20% of all 2015 road deaths.’

Matthew-Wilson says its nonsense to suggest that rail is uneconomic.

The government’s own studies show that rail freight is at least twice as efficient as road freight. Moving freight by sea is also many times more efficient than trucks. The only reason that trucking companies prosper is because they don’t pay the true costs of the roads they travel down.”

 In places like Northland, there is growing outrage at the government’s transport priorities.

“The government is predicting that freight across New Zealand's roads is going to increase by 78% in the next 25 years.

“If this is true, then we can expect a truly horrific death toll.”


Trucking accidents in the last month:

• 01/07/16 

Truck injures 69 year old and 10 year old, Old Taupo Road, Rotorua


• 03/07/16          

Truck rolls near Kawerau. Two hurt.


• 04/07/16 

One person dead after a crash involving an SUV and a truck in rural Waikato


•  04/07/16         

Truck hits motorway barrier and tree, Papakura, north of Karaka on-ramp                  


• 06/07/16          

Logging truck trailer rolls east of Morrinsville. Both lanes blocked with logs                                                                                                                                                                           


• 08/07/16 

Truck with man and woman on board crashes into Manawatu River         


• 11/07/16

One person dead following a crash between a car and a ute near Waitakaruru in Waikato



Elderly man dies after collision with truck                                                     


• 15/07/16 

Car and truck collide on Puhinui Road, near Auckland Airport        


• 18/07/16 

Three killed on Desert Rd when car loses control on icy bend and collides with truck       


• 19/07/16 

Milk tanker and a truck collide near Edendale. Both drivers sustain moderate injuries                                      


• 27/07/16 

Five hurt in four vehicle crash near Morrinsville, with minor injuries


• 29/07/16 

Truck and trailer rolls on SH39 near Otorahanga at 3.30 am              


• 29/07/16 

Truck crash on Auckland motorway                                                                             


• 02/08/16 

Five Bay of Plenty packhouse workers killed in collision with logging truck                      


• 02/08/16

Driver killed after truck carrying vineyard fencing materials rolls off road in Wairau Valley                      


• 02/08/16

Truck carrying gas bottles crashes into fence, Southland                                             


• 03/08/16

Three trucks crash on State Highway 1 between Kaikoura and Blenheim                                          


• 04/08/16 

Motorcyclist seriously injured in crash with truck                                                    


• 04/08/16

Family escapes serious injury when car plunges into creek to avoid logging truck. Pipiwai, Northland                            


• 05/08/16

Canterbury man critically injured after truck collides with people-mover                         


• 05/08/16

Road blocked after car and truck crash near Whangamata


• 07/08/16

Tanker rolls in South Auckland