Last year, 42 road and rail drivers died at work. Since 2003, 754 workers died in the transport, postal and warehousing industry. During this period, 583 truck, bus and taxi drivers died
“The government is simply not responding to the unacceptable risk transport workers are facing. It is every workers’ right to come home safe and yet these workers are expected to risk their lives while doing their jobs,” said Michael Kaine, TWU Acting National Secretary
“There are pressures on truck drivers that make their jobs dangerous: they are forced to speed, drive long hours, skip mandatory breaks and overload their vehicles all because wealthy retailers and manufacturers are cutting costs and lowering transport contracts. This has a real effect and people are dying trying to deliver their goods. It has got to stop,” Kaine added
In the last 10 days, three truck drivers died, two in a head-on collision in Sydney’s west and one in a roll-over west of Toowoomba.
“The Federal Government’s own report released this year acknowledges the risk to drivers’ lives. It also shows a system of safe rates, where drivers are paid minimum rates for all their work, would cut truck crashes by 28%*. Yet the Government is opposed to this solution and as a result it is families and the wider community which are bearing the brunt,” Kaine added.
Truck driver John Waltis said: “Every truck driver lives with the fear of not coming home. We’ve got people forcing themselves to keep going, just to keep their livelihoods coming in.”
In the 10 years to 2014 over 2,500 truck drivers and other road users died in truck crashes.
Media enquires: Judith Crosbie 0432552895