Convoys will cross the Harbour Bridge in Sydney, the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne, with a go-slow planned for the South- Eastern Freeway in Adelaide. Rallies will also be held in Perth, Brisbane and Darwin. The convoys and protests will include owner drivers, employee drivers and other road transport workers.
“The trucking community is coming together to say enough is enough. With the highest fatality rate of any industry, drivers want to be safe at work and they don’t want to risk the lives of others. The pressure on the industry by wealthy retailers, manufacturers, oil companies and banks has got to stop. These clients use transport services but don’t want to pay for their goods to be delivered safely,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“Drivers are being pushed to speed, drive long hours, skip mandatory rest breaks and skip maintenance on their vehicles. This is so wealthy clients at the top can make massive profits by cutting transport costs. The community is sick and tired of paying with their lives for corporate revenues and chief executive paychecks,” he added.
The Federal Government has opposed a system of Safe Rates which would ensure drivers are not pushed to break safety rules. The Government’s own reports published in April show the link between road safety and the pay rates of drivers and that the safe rates system would reduce truck crashes by 28%.
Sue Posnakidis, whose brother John died in a truck crash in 2010, will attend the rally in Adelaide. “My brother’s death was not an accident. The driver who crashed into him was inexperienced, fatigued and driving a truck which had faulty brakes. I want to make sure no other family goes through what mine is still going through,” she said.
In the 10 years to 2014 over 2,500 died in truck crashes. Last month 17 people died in truck crashes; in April there were 24 deaths; in March there were deaths.