Embargoed Monday 26 June
Jimmy Rees uses his ‘point of view’ to help promote truck safety on Aussie roads
• Comedian Jimmy Rees teams up with National Heavy Vehicle Regulator to educate motorists on safely driving around trucks, to help save lives.
• School holidays marks a busy time for families, light vehicle drivers and caravanners sharing the road with trucks.
• Light vehicle drivers are often at fault in crashes involving both heavy and light vehicles – greater education is needed.
Self-confessed ‘excellent driver’ and viral comedian Jimmy Rees is joining forces with the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) in a bid to educate ‘not so excellent drivers’ on safely sharing the road with trucks in its latest campaign, We All Need Space.
Aimed at providing simple tips for light vehicle drivers to give trucks space when travelling on our roads, the campaign features three ‘point of view’ videos from Rees, ranging from quips about caravanners, the perils of road tripping with kids, and the reality of passing a driver’s licence test.
“While the average driver might not spend much time considering what it means to drive safely around trucks, as a dad that likes caravanning during school holidays, I have seen all sorts of drivers out there, especially when you are towing something heavy,” Jimmy Rees said.
“Thankfully I have not had a run in with a heavy vehicle because I am an ‘excellent driver’, but we have all witnessed a truck that has had to slam its brakes on because a car pulls in front.
“As a driver it reinforces these trucks we share the road with are massive, and they need space.”
Rees’ videos are a comical mix of educational content and real-life issues that impact Aussie drivers and will be broadcast to his more than three million followers across Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
“I want to keep my family safe when we are out on the road, so if everyone is more aware of how to keep safe around trucks and give them the space they need, then that makes it safer for us all.”
We All Need Space comes at a time when the numbers of people and families travelling on Australian roads will increase, with school holidays beginning in parts of the country this week.
NHVR’s Michelle Tayler said there has never been a more important time to educate light vehicle drivers on truck safety, with around 70 per cent of serious incidents involving both heavy and light vehicles the fault of the light vehicle.
“School holidays can be a busy time on Australian roads and almost every light vehicle driver and road user out there will likely come across some type of truck on their journey,” Ms Tayler said.
“Jimmy’s videos provide an important safety message in a way that resonates with the average Aussie driver.”
“We encourage people to educate themselves so both they, and the truck drivers, reach their destination safely.”
In the past twelve months, the national road toll has increased in almost every state and territory in Australia, with 57 of the 414 fatalities, or more than one in 10 of those recorded this year alone, shockingly involving heavy vehicle crashes.
“The latest road fatality figures are a stark reminder of how important it is to raise awareness among general road users on how to drive safely around trucks.”
Ms Tayler said the campaign was important for all road users, regardless of how or where they were travelling these school holidays and in the future.
“With over 900,000 registered heavy vehicles units on Australia’s roads, it does not matter if you’re a comedian like Jimmy, an everyday car motorist, a cyclist or a pedestrian, we all need space to stay safe on the road.”
We All Need Space provides simple tips for drivers on how to drive safely around oversized loads, safely overtaking trucks, how to keep out of trucks blind spots, and rules around overtaking a turning truck.
For more information on We All Need Space visit weneedspace.com.au. #weallneedspace
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Available for interview: Michelle Tayler, NHVR
Michelle Tayler is the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator’s (NHVR) Executive Director of Corporate Affairs, where she leads government affairs, media and communication, industry engagement and customer experience.
Having held Executive Director roles with the Queensland Police Service and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Michelle has expertise in and is available for interview on emergency and disaster management, road safety and education awareness campaigns.
Content available for media: For We All Need Space content including Jimmy Rees point of view videos, radio grabs of NHVR spokesperson Michelle Tayler and Jimmy Rees, dash cam footage, and more, please follow this link: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Hyg6ZU2wEG4Y5TaKQb_gqeDduXb1FFav
Media Contact: Prue Cripps | Prue.Cripps@nhvr.gov.au | 0417 389 961
About the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR): The NHVR is Australia’s regulator for heavy vehicles, and we work across a range of heavy vehicle safety, productivity, policy and operational initiatives and projects endorsed by state and federal transport ministers. Established in 2013, our vision is to build a single, consistent national regulator and a safe, efficient, and productive heavy vehicle industry serving the needs of Australia. We are a modern and intelligence-led regulator focused on informing, educating, and enforcing regulatory action to those posing the greatest risk to road users.
Prue Cripps - NHVR Media Team
P.h. 0417 389 961