Truck driver safety focus of new Bill
Release date: 26/04/2012
The long road to better conditions for truck drivers reached its destination after the Road Safety Remuneration Bill in the federal senate this month.
Penrith City Star
The legislation will tackle unsafe practices after research showed drivers had been engaging in dangerous practices to meet delivery deadlines.
A national Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal will set conditions to ensure safe driving practices.
It's taken the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 20 years to reach this stage.
Penrith resident Dean Whalan has been a truck driver for 20 years and has worked for Woolworths at its Minchinbury distribution centre for 11.
"There's a long way to go," he said. "But it's a start."
He said the recent triple fatality at Menangle reiterated the importance of the legislation.
"It's terrible," he said.
"You're still a person and when you've got parents and children, you don't want to see this happen to anyone.
"It's hard for people who sit at a desk all day to understand.
"A lapse of concentration could mean a punctuation error: a split second lapse of concentration for a truck driver could kill."
Mr Whalan insists Woolworths does the right thing by its drivers: "They provide amenities for drivers to eat, sleep, have a shower, which many other companies don't provide," he said.
Federal Lindsay MP David Bradbury, who recently said his electorate had one of the highest percentages in Australia of those employed in the transport industry, welcomed the bill.
"This is about ensuring the safety of all Australians on our roads," Mr Bradbury said.
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