Monash Truck Trial uncovers tailgating

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The 90km/h speed limit trial for trucks on the Monash Freeway will end on Sunday night after uncovering more tailgating by cars and trucks in the right-hand lane.

The focus will now move to the second stage of the trial – a ban on trucks in the far right lane – once construction on the Monash Freeway Upgrade are completed between Noble Park and Mount Waverley later this year.

“We have learnt a lot very quickly from this trial that has helped us to work with industry to dramatically improve speed compliance on the Monash,” VicRoads Chief Executive John Merritt said.

VicRoads thanked the industry and individual trucking companies who have taken strong action in cases where drivers had been observed exceeding speed limits on multiple occasions.

Feedback from motorists about their experience of the trial was also very informative, with many drivers witnessing increased weaving between trucks and cars in the outside lane.

This was backed up by a preliminary trial evaluation by the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) of two months of trial data that found:

  • The 90 km/h speed limit was being adhered to in all lanes but the fast lane
  • 831 fewer trucks a day on average used the right hand lane during the trial – a drop of 7% – yet traffic conditions in the right lane were worse with both cars and trucks leaving less headway between vehicles
  • On some sections of the Monash between Noble Park and Mount Waverley, cars were equally and sometimes more aggressive than trucks in tailgating behaviour
  • 42.6% of cars in the right hand lane were exceeding 100 km/h
  • The mean speed of trucks was lower than cars, most likely due to slower moving trucks within the traffic stream.
  • “With more than 200,000 trips made on the Monash freeway every day, it’s important that drivers of all vehicles behave safely on the roads and are less aggressive behind the wheel,” Mr Merritt said.

“We have learnt a lot from this trial about what’s happening in the right hand lane and now it’s up to every one of us to stop tailgating and stay safe.”

VicRoads will continue to analyse the full six months of the trial as it works with industry on the second and final stage – a truck ban in the right lane. 

Picture credit: Jake Nowakowski,

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