Truck drivers and other road users are being urged to take care, following an increase in the number of deaths involving heavy vehicles on Victorian roads this year.

Transport Accident Commission data shows 42 people have been killed in crashes involving heavy vehicles on Victorian roads so far this year, compared with 28 in all of 2018.

Of the fatalities this year, 14 deaths have been truck drivers and their passengers, 16 were other vehicle drivers and their passengers, one bus driver, three motorcyclists, three cyclists and five pedestrians.

Now the Victorian Government has announced a $4 million program to develop a heavy vehicle training program in partnership with the Victorian Transport Association and providers, which aims to improve driving skills and develop safety-first attitudes.

In addition, an $850,000 road-side fatigue testing trial is currently underway to see if roadside testing for extreme fatigue can be conducted in a similar way to current roadside alcohol and drug testing.

A recent study from the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) found many crashes involving heavy vehicles are caused by other vehicles.

“In what has been a tragic year on our roads, we have seen a worrying trend in the number of people dying in crashes involving heavy vehicles and everyone needs to be aware of the risks when driving around trucks,” said Jaala Pulford, Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC.