April 22, 2016

More Deaths In Truck Crashes As Government Abolishes Safe Rates

The Tasmania truck crash occurred near Devonport in the state’s north-west while the truck driver was killed on Yenches Road at Lankeys Creek.


“My thoughts are with the families left devastated by these tragedies which are yet to be fully investigated. Since the beginning of April, 23 have died in truck crashes; in March there were 25 deaths. This comes as the Government has torn down an independent body which was examining the pressures in transport that can lead to deaths and injuries,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.


“We know that a deadly cycle is at play in transport with major clients squeezing transport operators and drivers with low cost contracts to the point that our roads are not safe,” Sheldon added.


Despite the Federal Government’s opposition to safe minimum rates for truck drivers, its own reports 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 show the link between road safety and the pay rates of drivers and that the safe rates system would reduce truck crashes by 28%*.


“Every truck crash we hear of my family and I relive what happened to our brother John. He was killed by an inexperienced driver who’d had a ‘grueling work schedule’ and was driving a truck with faulty brakes, according to the coroner. The Government has done nothing for truck drivers and other road users by abolishing safe rates,” said Sue Posnakidis, whose brother John Posnakidis was killed in a truck crash in South Australia in 2010.


* PricewaterhouseCoopers “Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System Final Report January 2016” (PWC Review 2016 – published by the Commonwealth Department of Employment on 1 April, 2016)

Jaguar Consulting Pty Ltd “Review of the Road Safety Remuneration System 16 April, 2014 (Jaguar Consulting 2014 – published by the Commonwealth Department of Employment on 1 April, 2016)

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