Support for independent investigations into serious truck crashes is growing, with a leading industry member calling for a safety authority to play its role.
A recent report from the Productivity Commission backed calls from the Australian Trucking Association for more thorough investigations into truck crashes.
The announcement followed shortly after the tragic death of a driver in the multi-vehicle collision on the Hume Highway last week.
According to Transport for NSW, during the last four years in the South West region there have been 463 truck crashes with 36 people killed.
The draft Productivity Commission report on national transport regulatory reform recommended the federal government should engage the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to undertake a defined, targeted trial of incident investigation for heavy vehicles.
If the trial is successful, the report recommends the amendment of the Transport Safety Investigation Act 2003 to confirm investigation of incidents involving heavy vehicles.
ATA chairman Geoff Crouch said the organisation had spent years arguing for the ATSB to conduct independent, no-blame safety investigations of crashes involving trucks and autonomous vehicles.
Mr Crouch said the weight of expert evidence and support for extending the role of the authority was apparent.
"The ATA has consistently raised the importance of extending ATSB investigations into truck crashes, especially as levels of driving automation increase," he said.
"We recommended to the Productivity Commission that the role of the ATSB should be extended to provide independent, no-blame, safety investigations for road crashes involving heavy vehicles.
"It is a world-renowned body of best practice and expertise in this space, and I have no doubt they would be able to make a genuine contribution to improve safety for all members of the community."
Mr Crouch said extending the role of the ATSB would ensure no stone is left unturned in reducing deaths and severe injuries on roads.
"This is a practical approach to improving road safety that supports the vision of zero fatalities and injuries on our roads," he said.
"The draft Productivity Commission recommendation highlights the effectiveness of the ATA's rigorous, evidence-based approach to representing our members in Canberra and the strength of our case."
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack said he welcomes the Productivity Commission's draft report.
"I urge and encourage any feedback through the consultation process which is now under way," he said.
"I appreciate Geoff Crouch's hard work in his role as Australian Trucking Association Chair and his passion in advocating for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to add investigating incidents involving heavy vehicles to its remit.
"However, as with all Productivity Commission inquiries, the Government will await the final report before determining any appropriate actions in response."