“My thoughts are with the families left devastated by these tragedies which have to be fully investigated. Twelve people have lost their lives in truck crashes in WA since the start of the year yet our Federal Government is opposing a solution. What we need is a system which will hold clients at the top accountable for low cost contracts which forces many drivers to take risks, such as speeding, driving long hours, skipping breaks and skipping maintenance on their vehicles,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“One in five transport operators say they break safety rules to meet deadlines, according to Safe Work Australia, and we are seeing the evidence of this in the death toll on the roads. Only a system of safe rates where wealthy clients are held to account for their low cost contracts will fundamentally address this issue,” he added.
The Government’s 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%.
In March 25 people were killed in truck crashes across Australia; in April there were 24 deaths.