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Monday, 6 December 1999
Page: 12805

Mr St CLAIR —The National Drive for Safety is one of the key annual events organised by the Australian Trucking Association and its members. The National Drive for Safety involves politicians going for a one-hour ride in a truck provided by an operator within their electorate. It is an initiative designed to promote road safety themes in the community just prior to the Christmas holiday period. Christmas traditionally is one of the peak periods for traffic accidents. Between 19 December 1997 and 2 January 1998, 81 people were killed on our roads nationally. The trucking industry in Australia has come a long way in improving its safety performance. From the horror year of 1989, fatalities involving trucks have fallen by over 50 per cent.

The National Drive for Safety is also designed to promote the important role played by the Australian trucking industry all year round. Trucks carry the majority of the nation's freight, and this event is intended to remind people that the trucking industry is one of the few that does not stop over the Christmas period, ensuring our goods continue to be delivered. The 1999 National Drive for Safety will take place on Saturday, 11 December and, once again, will use the theme `Driving this Christmas? Don't be a Turkey!' By `Don't be a Turkey' we are particularly urging motorists to be patient this year—patient in getting to holiday destinations and patient in their on-road behaviour.