Safety in advertising

There are continual calls for trucking in Australia to raise the safety bar, despite the fact statistics proves the industry has never been better when it comes to addressing the issue. Unfortunately, little recognition is afforded when we do things right, and even less recognisance of some of the strange antics exhibited in television advertisements by car manufacturers.

One of the biggest bugbears for heavy vehicle drivers is the widespread use of fog lights by motorists. Their use is banned in most states unless conditions require such lighting, yet fines are minimal and rarely do you hear of a car driver being breached, despite the fact these lights can be dangerous under normal driving conditions and blind others on the road.

This is a safety issue that needs to be addressed and rules enforced; but turn on the television and see how many car manufacturers advertise their wares with on-road footage showing fog lights being used.

In another commercial, a couple is depicted racing to a maternity hospital in a trial run and on arrival the young male driver leaps from the car, looks at his watch and declares it is a personal best time. Now I know this is intended to be humorous, however the advert shows what appears to be high speed driving, and certainly does little to convey a safety message – one would think the content would be better detailing the safety features of the vehicle involved.

One could go on – don’t get me started on the placement of hands on the steering wheel and inattention to the road depicted in many automotive commercials – but it would be more responsible if those creating the advertising looked at encouraging road safety.

Truck manufacturers take a very responsible attitude when it comes to road safety, concentrating on new technology developed and introduced to assist drivers avoid incidents while carrying out their professional role on the roads and highways. But there are a number of television programs concentrating on cars, detailing makes and models and their performance on the road – and while safety items are discussed they are not exactly featured.

It would be wonderful to see some television producer take an interest in what the trucking world has available in terms of safety technology. After all, trucks are more often than not leaders in the development stakes with safety features passed down to cars.

Unfortunately this is not recognised – despite the fact truck manufacturers and equipment suppliers are doing an incredible amount of work developing safety systems, and even less recognition is given to those in trucking who actively embrace the technology.

Trucking leads the way when it comes to safety and the environment, yet there is little recognition received, and even less when it comes to offering incentives to those who are keen to make the world a better place for all Australians.


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