TWU

Police Blitz Shows Serious Problems In Trucking While Federal Government Fails

Release date: 2/06/2016

TWU SA/NT MEDIA RELEASE, 2 June 2016

A police blitz which found 600 defective trucks has highlighted the crisis in trucking and the Federal Government’s failings after it abolished a road safety tribunal which was addressing the problems.

SA police checked over 4000 trucks, finding 559 with defects and 158 with serious issues. Drivers were found to be exceeding their driving hours and not taking their mandatory rest breaks.

“The Safe Rates system was investigating the pressures on the transport industry which forces drivers to take these risks and which ultimately costs lives. The Federal Government tore down this system to save its rich mates from paying drivers a minimum rate. What we are seeing today is the impact this has on the community,” said Ray Wyatt, SA/NT branch secretary.

“Since the start of this year 86 people have been killed in truck crashes across Australia; 10 of them were in South Australia. What more proof does this Government need that there is a problem in trucking?” Wyatt added.

Sue Posnakidis, whose brother John was killed in a truck crash in Adelaide in 2010 said lives were being put at risk because of pressure on drivers and the Government’s inaction. “My brother’s death was not an accident. The driver who crashed into him was fatigued and driving a truck whose brakes were faulty. I don’t want other families to go through what we are still going through,” she said.

The Government’s own reports on the Safe Rates system released recently show that road transport has the “highest fatality rates of any industry in Australia” with 12 times the average for all industries. The reports also shows the system would reduce truck crashes by 28%.

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