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South Australia’s Big VR Investment to Boost Road Safety

The South Australian and Australian governments have joined hands with the South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA). They will purchase the latest and innovative training simulator created to improve road safety in the region. The HVSim and software package costs $450000 and will let heavy vehicle operators virtually drive trucks in the South Eastern Freeway.

Michael McCormack, the Deputy Prime Minister, talked about the unique simulator and that it would aid existing heavy vehicle drivers to explore the South Eastern Freeway descent and focus on more safety behind the wheel.

Cover different high-risk routes

McCormack, also the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, and Regional Development, said that truck drivers would go through training and evaluations in the simulator. He further explained that there is scope to expand the virtual reality program and cover different South Australian and national high-risk routes.

Keep investing

McCormack further said that the government is very concerned about road safety as no family should face the devastation and aftereffects of road crashes. Hence, they will keep on investing in vital initiatives to enhance road safety, save lives, and also lower road trauma.

Better prepared

The Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiative 2020 Grant program by The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (HVNR) allocated $350000 for the technology. Vincent Tarzia, South Australian Minister for Police, Emergency Services, Correctional Services, and Road Safety, said that the government would contribute $100000 more for the simulator to make sure the heavy vehicle drives are better prepared.

Learn or enhance skills

Tarzia further talked about the simulator and described it as a safe way for vehicle operators to learn or enhance their descent skills. Nearly 660000 heavy vehicles travel from Crafers to Glen Osmond every year. Tragic accidents have occurred in recent years at the end of the South Eastern Freeway. VR technology can help prevent such accidents and save more lives.

Prioritizing and increasing safety

Anne Ruston, the Senator for South Australia, said that prioritizing safety for road users was vital to embracing the National Road Safety Strategy. Senator Ruston described it as part of the government’s continuing commitment to enhance road safety and ensure zero fatalities and serious road injuries.

Sal Petroccitto, the NHVR CEO, said that the HVSI supported initiatives that contribute to bettering road safety through value-for-money and unique ideas. 26 Australian recipients were supported this year to present programs aiming for heavy vehicle safety. Petroccitto also said that this project’s results would lead to the road transport industry’s increased safety and sustainability.

Excellent way

Sharon Middleton, SARTA President, talked about the HVSim project and portrayed it as an excellent way to train on particular high-risk routes, that includes the SE Freeway and other problematic SA and interstate routes. Middleton said that the HVSim would allow training of heavy vehicle drivers, improving skills in areas like reversing trucks with various trailers and avoiding rollovers on sharp bends.

SARTA will also use the virtual reality system along with academic institutions to research vital areas like fatigue management. Middleton welcomed the Federal and SA Governments’ commitment to this critical safety project that they could not undertake without the governments’ combined $450000 grants.

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