Nothing stops in the road transport industry. The silly season is now well and truly upon us – and with it comes a heightened risk on the roads. This has been highlighted in a message by the national manager of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Team (CVST), Inspector Mike Brooklands, who acknowledges that many truck drivers will be working through to keep the supply chain running for the rest of New Zealand.

Inspector Brooklands says: “NZ Police are working through as well with a concentrated effort starting next week on trying to keep the death and serious injury crashes that are occurring on our roads to a minimum over the summer period.”

He says speed is a major contributing factor to tragedies on the road and police will be cracking down this summer. We have been warned!

We also support HWR and its Almost Dead safety campaign, which is championed by road safety advocate Greg Murphy. This campaign, which features some disturbing truck dash-cam footage of near misses, shows some of the behaviour our drivers are confronted with on the roads every day. This time of year, it is particularly bad.

A truck’s view of the world is different to a car’s – it can’t brake or stop as quickly or take evasive action. It is the driving behaviour of other motorists that is really the major cause of most truck accidents, and we will share some statistics about that over the holiday period. It’s important to emphasise that truck drivers are professional drivers and these are not the vehicles that cause the vast majority of accidents.

We have to build awareness about behaviour around a truck and to encourage everybody not to make silly decisions and take unnecessary risks.

Sadly, the consequences can be deadly in many instances. I know from talking to transport operators that the impact on a business of having a truck involved in an accident is enormous on staff and customers alike.

Everybody wants to get home safely at the end of the day and I know that every road transport operator has that commitment for their staff and for everybody on the roads that their staff comes into contact with. We must keep reinforcing that, particularly over the holiday period.

It’s also now peak roadworks season and that is going to cause frustration. Obviously, this time of year is the easiest time to do this work because of the weather. We are going to benefit from this work being done properly, so we ask all drivers, whether they are truck drivers or not, to be patient and put up with delays because hopefully we will get better roads as a result.

I would like to thank the trucking industry for another year of hard work in the face of many obstacles – not least of which are cost increases, inflation, and diesel prices. We are living in an uncertain world and my message is that people should take some time off so they can have a break. I know that’s hard in this industry.

Think about 2023 and be prepared for more change. Think about how to orientate your business so you can adapt effective responses so your business has the ability to quickly and successfully embrace change. As an organisation, we will be helping with those resources. We’re aiming for 2023 to be a reshaping year for Transporting New Zealand and the way membership engages with us.

We have got to be positive and optimistic about doing things differently but I do realise that it’s one thing after another and it does get really tiring after a while. So, let’s work on supporting each other and that’s what we’ll be aiming to do for the industry in 2023.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year – and stay safe!

– Nick Leggett is chief executive of Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand.

And you can listen to me talking to David Killick here.

Photo 50026486 / Accident Sign © Nikolai Sorokin |

Please note: The content of this Advisory has been issued to inform members of Transporting New Zealand. It is for road freight transport industry circulation, not for media publication. It can be forwarded in its entirety to members of Transporting New Zealand. It cannot be reproduced, or printed in parts, under any logo other than Ia Ara Aotearoa Transporting New Zealand’s logo, without written permission from Transporting New Zealand.