Government Putting 'Lives On The Line'
Release date: 18/01/2017
The Irrigator, by Talia Pattison, 18 January 2017
The federal government must urgently step in to prevent truck drivers across the country being killed or injured on the job.
Photo: Emergency services at the scene of the double fatal truck accident.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has lashed out at the government for what it said was an attitude of having no care for those on the road.
The comments follow what has been a tragic start on the nation’s roads, with the death toll in truck accidents already four times higher than for the same period in 2016.
This includes the double fatal truck accident near Whitton on January 3.
Two senior official Nick McIntosh said the government needed to fix the real issues at heart.
“The problem is drivers are the people that are at the bottom of the chain,” he said.
“Their bosses are telling them where to be and by what time and the client above their bosses are the ones with all of the economic power that push the companies to have their drivers at a certain place by a certain time.
“They have all the power and it can be crushing for drivers.
“They are under pressure from everywhere, which can cause them to be tired or distracted.”
Mr McIntosh said it the government appeared happy to introduce more rules and regulations they believed would “fix” the problem of being tired and fatigued.
“Drivers already know when they should be taking breaks, how their vehicles should be maintained and how to fill out their log books,” he said.
“Introducing more laws is only going to affect them and put more stress on them.
“Something needs to be done to regulate those with the economic power.”
Reports released by the federal government last April acknowledged the link between safety and the pay rates of drivers.
One report also showed a system of safe rates, where drivers were paid minimum rates for all their work, would cut truck crashes by 28 per cent.
“We don’t want any more death or injuries involving truck drivers on our roads,” Mr McIntosh.
“It’s time the federal government stepped in and did something real to help.”
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