Li­cence sys­tem in­sults truck­ies

Big Rigs - - NEWS -

THE truck driver li­cens­ing sys­tem is an in­sult to Aus­tralia’s ex­pert, hard-work­ing truck driv­ers and must be fixed, says the CEO of the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, Ben Maguire.

Mr Maguire was re­spond­ing to the re­sults of an in­de­pen­dent re­view of the Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Driver Com­pe­tency Frame­work.

“Aus­tralia’s trans­port min­is­ters com­mis­sioned the re­view in re­sponse to the ATA’s con­cerns about driver train­ing. In fact, we called for this re­view in the run up to the 2016 federal elec­tion,” Mr Maguire said.

“The re­view is now done. Its find­ings show that the cur­rent truck driver li­cens­ing sys­tem is in­ad­e­quate.

“The re­view shows, for ex­am­ple, that the cur­rent heavy rigid train­ing unit (TLILIC2016) fails to ad­dress six out of the 10 safety risks it iden­ti­fies. The unit only partly ad­dresses the other four out of 10.

“The poor qual­ity of the driver train­ing sys­tem is an in­sult to Aus­tralia’s ex­pert, hard-work­ing truck driv­ers, who have spent many years learn­ing their pro­fes­sion.

“It’s also an in­sult to the many driver train­ers that are com­mit­ted to safety, such as ATA mem­ber DECA Train­ing, which of­fers out­stand­ing post-li­cence cour­ses for driv­ers who want to be recog­nised as pro­fes­sion­als.”

Mr Maguire dis­missed the ar­gu­ment that im­prov­ing driver li­cens­ing might worsen the short­age of truck driv­ers and called for all of Aus­tralia’s trans­port min­is­ters to take ur­gent ac­tion at their re­cent trans­port summit in Dar­win.

“There is a short­age of new-starters in the truck­ing in­dus­try, but it’s due to the im­age of the in­dus­try and the im­age of truck driv­ing as a ca­reer.

“By im­prov­ing the pro­fes­sion­al­ism of the in­dus­try, strength­en­ing driver train­ing would make driv­ing more, not less, at­trac­tive as a ca­reer,” he said.

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