Police have reported three separate crashes involving trucks: two people were killed north of Gloucester early this morning, two people were killed near Sutton Forest yesterday evening and two people were killed at Bendemeer yesterday afternoon.
“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed in the last 24 hours in these crashes which are still under investigation. The trucking community knows all too well of the devastating effect of horrific crashes like these,” said TWU National Assistant Secretary Michael Kaine.
“Deaths from truck crashes have increased dramatically in the past year, since the Federal Government abolished the one independent tribunal which was investigating safety in trucking. The Government knew this would happen since its own report showed the tribunal was cutting truck crash fatalities by 28%. We are demanding action and that the pressures on transport operators and drivers be looked at with a view to making our industry safer,” he added.
“We know financial margins are tight for transport operators and that this is resulting in drivers forced to speed, drive long hours and skip mandatory rest breaks. We know this is happening because wealthy retailers and manufacturers at the top are constantly cutting their transport contracts. The Government is failing to hold these wealthy clients to account and the rest of the community is suffering because of it,” said Kaine.
Between January and March this year, deaths from articulated trucks increased by 7.2% and deaths from heavy rigid vehicles increased by 4.1%, compared with last year, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. Meanwhile, 40% of all workplace deaths this year involved transport workers, according to Safe Work Australia.
In the 10 years to 2014, over 2,500 people were killed in truck crashes.