Safety an is­sue for ev­ery­one

Big Rigs - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR / OPINION - EDITOR KIRSTIN PAYNE kirstin.payne@bi­grigs.com.au

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.

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