Safety an issue for everyone
ROAD safety has been the buzzword on everyone’s lips again this week as our highways continue to steal the lives of Aussies.
We have again heard from each industry association and union, politicians of all persuasions, the police and, of course, the mainstream media.
With all the noise, one would hope reasonable solutions would follow.
Yet outside of meetings and announcements the only practical response drivers have been met with is Operation Rolling Thunder – Australia’s largest ever heavy vehicle operation, one which gave licence to yet another media cycle of bad press for the industry.
While we all support further efforts to pursue safety, further compliance checks on an industry that is only responsible for road fatalities 7%* of the time, can only go so far.
Ask any driver and they will tell you (as many told Big Rigs this week) that two of the major problems are the conditions of our roads and the education of our motorists.
Not a day goes by without our offices receiving a dashcam video of wild motorist behaviour, tales of roads riddled with potholes, or stranded drivers dealing with shoddy facilities.
Ultimately, any good transport operator (despite some dangerous bad eggs) has already worked to put in place comprehensive safety and risk management systems, not only because it makes business sense but because it’s their life that hangs in the balance.
So the question remains: At what point is the responsibility shared elsewhere?
I am looking forward to hearing something from our new Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Barnaby Joyce.
More than two months in the job should be sufficient warm-up time for our federal leader to offer his thoughts on one of the most important issues facing the industry. Just a thought. *National Truck Accident Research Centre report 2017.