Gar­den Grove driv­ers caught out again

Owner Driver - - Owner/Driver - – An­jali Behl

LAND­SCAPE SUP­PLY com­pany Gar­den Grove found it­self in the midst of an­other dan­ger­ous driv­ing case that ul­ti­mately led to the dis­missal of an­other of its truck driv­ers in July.

It came a month af­ter a sim­i­lar case that led the com­pany to dis­miss a driver for an un­safe driv­ing in­ci­dent cap­tured on video and cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia.

The video showed a Gar­den Grove truck over­tak­ing a sec­ond truck dan­ger­ously, forc­ing an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle off the road to avoid a headon col­li­sion.

The most re­cent in­ci­dent was high­lighted through an im­age posted on Face­book.

While the Trans­port Work­ers’ Union (TWU) urges South Aus­tralian au­thor­i­ties to con­duct an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Gar­den Grove’s safety prac­tices, South Aus­tralian Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (SARTA) ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Steve Shearer says the union’s call is base­less be­cause the au­thor­i­ties do not have “any is­sues” with the com­pany.

Speak­ing on be­half of the com­pany, Shearer says both SA Po­lice and Na­tional Heavy Ve­hi­cle Reg­u­la­tor ( NHVR) have clearly stated that they do not have any con­cerns re­gard­ing safety prac­tices at Gar­den Grove. Once the com­pany found out about the in­ci­dents, it con­tacted SA Po­lice’s Heavy Ve­hi­cle En­force­ment Unit and made them aware of the footage and co­op­er­ated dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

Gar­den Grove also con­ducted its own in­ves­ti­ga­tions, which in­volved speak­ing to the driv­ers; how­ever, af­ter both driv­ers failed to con­vince the com­pany that there was a valid rea­son for their dan­ger­ous ma­noeu­vres on the road they were fired, Shearer says.

To­wards the end of June, the man­age­ment had cir­cu­lated a no­tice among its em­ploy­ees that there was no ex­cuse for breach of safety rules on any ac­count “which makes the in­ci­dent and the driver’s bad and un­nec­es­sary de­ci­sion even more un­for­tu­nate”, Shearer says.

How­ever, the union said that Gar­den Grove’s dis­missal of sec­ond driver in two months is a re­flec­tion of its “poor safety prac­tices”.

“The TWU be­lieves there are sys­tem­atic prob­lems at Gar­den Grove which are putting driv­ers un­der pres­sure and re­sult­ing in risks to the gen­eral pub­lic,” TWU SA/ NT branch sec­re­tary Ian Smith says. “This lat­est im­age in­di­cates these prob­lems have not been ad­dressed af­ter the re­cent dash- cam footage was re­vealed.

“Again the driv­ers are be­ing pun­ished when safety in­ci­dents are ex­posed but the com­pany now needs to be in­ves­ti­gated.”

Smith says Gar­den Grove is “cov­er­ing up its poor safety prac­tices”, which is mak­ing many “ex­pe­ri­enced” driv­ers to leave the com­pany.

“At least nine ex­pe­ri­enced driv­ers have left Gar­den Grove in just the last few months over con­di­tions at the com­pany,” Smith says.

“We call upon the au­thor­i­ties to take these is­sues se­ri­ously and in­ves­ti­gate this com­pany.”

Gar­den Grove has dis­missed two driv­ers within a two-month pe­riod for dan­ger­ous driv­ing

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