The advert depicts the prelude to a crash between a family in a car and a fatigued truck driver, under pressure to meet an unrealistic deadline. “Vote to make our roads safer. Put the Liberals/Nationals last,” it urges voters.
“Voters need to be aware that the Liberal and National Parties do not believe the death toll in truck crashes warrants a proper solution. They deny there is a link between safety and financial pressure on transport companies and drivers causing them to speed, drive long hours and drive fatigued. This is despite that fact that their own reports confirm this link,” said Tony Sheldon TWU National Secretary.
The advert will be broadcast on social media from today and on commercial television from June 12th. A separate radio advert will run in specific electorates.
“One in five transport operators say they break safety rules to meet deadlines, according to Safe Work Australia. This Government has turned its back on the community by failing to prioritise road safety over support for their rich donors among wealthy clients who keep rates low for drivers,” he added.
The Government’s own reports released in April 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 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 25 deaths.
Sue Posnakidis, whose brother John was killed in a truck crash in Adelaide in 2010 said lives were being put at risk because of pressure on drivers and the Government’s inaction. “My brother’s death was not an accident. The driver who crashed into him was fatigued and driving a truck whose brakes were faulty. I don’t want other families to go through what we are still going through,” she said.