Horror week of truck-related fatalities
A SPATE of fatal truck crashes, including a double fatality west of Grafton this week, has disturbed Roads Minister Melinda Pavey after a 45 per cent increase in crashes last year.
The Member for Oxley fronted media to clarify that majority of accidents involving trucks were caused by other vehicles, while also calling on truck drivers to exercise caution on the roads.
It came after two male drivers aged in their 50s died this week after a head-on between a tipper truck and a cattle truck on the Gwydir Highway, 50km west of Grafton near Jackadgery on Monday.
Ms Pavey described another truck crash at Dubbo on the same day "an absolute horror."
Two people were killed after a b-double ploughed into cars stopped at roadworks, injuring at least 10 others.
"I am just so concerned and disturbed about the level of accidents involving heavy vehicles in NSW at the moment," Ms Pavey told ABC News.
"We've had six heavy vehicles involved in accidents in the past 24 hours which are going to destroy lives, destroy families."
Meanwhile, one truck driver was killed and one other injured in a fiery crash south of Newcastle involving three heavy vehicles on Monday.
Ms Pavey said she was worried about the 45 per cent increase in heavy vehicle accidents on the state's roads between 2016 and 2017, adding that increased activity on NSW roads was not enough to explain the increase.
She said speed was still the leading contributor in fatal crashes on NSW roads, while fatigue, drugs and alcohol also played significant roles.
A parliamentary inquiry Ms Pavey announced in November was still investigating ways to reduce heavy vehicle crashes, looking at devices such as automatic braking systems, lane departure warnings and speed limiters.
NSW Police Superintendent Peter McKenna urged drivers to rest when they needed to and not use drugs or drink alcohol when driving.
"We need people to adhere to the messages police are putting forward about road safety," he told reporters near Dubbo.