Safe truck launch at Deni program

By Jamie Lowe

The Australian Trucking Association has chosen Deniliquin as the first site outside Canberra for the launch of its new SafeT360 truck.

The new Volvo ATA Safety Truck will be visiting Deni as part of the Deniliquin High School’s Driver Education program, which started yesterday.

The Deni launch of the SafeT360 will be held tomorrow at the Memorial Park showgrounds.

Deniliquin High School’s Year 10 students will have the chance to peruse the custom-built road safety exhibition that educates young road users on how to share the road safely with trucks.

The SafeT360 includes immersive virtual reality technology, targeted messaging, video and interactive touch screen games, all packed into a real truck trailer delivered around the country by a Volvo prime mover.

Year 10 students at Deniliquin High School have a week of on-road education as part of the annual Driver Education Program.

Program committee member Jenny Fellows said the new safety truck’s launch was a welcome addition this year.

‘‘We want to give the students the tools to be safe on the road and the new SafeT360 is an outstanding example for this,’’ Mrs Fellows said.

‘‘It’s extremely important they get this education, particularly on sharing the roads with trucks.

‘‘We all share the roads so we need to do as much as we can to lower the level of risk involved in driving.”

Driving instructor Brian Purtill (fourth from the left) gives a lesson on safe driving to DHS students Imogen Simpson, Bec Rourke, Thomas Chandler and Sam White. 

The week-long Driver Education Program aims to reiterate safe and informed driving before a new wave of drivers take to the road.

Students will take part in a number of activities including practical driving at the Deniliquin Sporting Car Club, completion of a mental health and wellbeing course presented by Deniliquin High School counsellor Lyn Bond, agencies involved in road trauma, self defence classes and a talk about fatigue from Brian Purtill.

The annual mock accident, involving several local emergency service organisations, will be held this morning at Memorial Park, while John Maher will return to share his experience with road trauma.

Mr Maher received life-threatening injuries, the result of which saw him classed as unemployable at age 42 and less than three years later, his daughter Carmen, who was 18, was believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel when killed in a car crash.

“We are also including a session from Maritime about boat and river safety for the first time,” Mrs Fellows said.

“We’re a river town with river children so it’s all important information when it comes to water safety, whether it’s those who are driving boats or swimming.

“We may also look to introduce a boat licence course into the program next year.

“The self defence classes have developed into keeping safe while travelling on public transport, diffusing different situations and a little bit of self defence techniques should things take a turn for the worse.

“This program wouldn’t be possible without the extra support we receive, so we’d like to thank all organisations involved this week,” she said.