SARTA tar­gets re­form view

Australian Transport News - - Contents -

Shearer ques­tions why na­tional pol­icy changes should be based on NSW stats

MAK­ING CHANGES to na­tional rules based on the road safety sta­tis­tics of New South Wales will not be fair, the South Aus­tralian Road Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion ( SARTA) says.

SARTA ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Steve Shearer ques­tions the va­lid­ity of state­ments made by in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tive bod­ies and other mem­bers who are call­ing for na­tional pol­icy re­form fol­low­ing a spate of truck crashes in NSW re­cently.

The Aus­tralian Lo­gis­tics Coun­cil ( ALC), the Aus­tralian Truck­ing As­so­ci­a­tion ( ATA) and Toll Group MD Michael Byrne have de­manded gov­ern­ment ac­tion that ad­dresses the is­sue of road safety on a na­tional level and not just in NSW, which saw more crashes dur­ing the re­cent hol­i­day pe­riod com­pared with other states and ter­ri­to­ries.

“Why should the rest of the coun­try march to the beat of the NSW drum ... when it is blind­ingly ob­vi­ous that NSW is per­form­ing worst of all the states and seem­ingly has one or more is­sues that are not du­pli­cated in the other states,” SARTA ques­tions.

The SA road trans­port body says it wants to see ac­ci­dent rates come down but a “po­lit­i­cally driven knee-jerk re­ac­tion” is not the way to go about it.

In­stead, it says, im­ple­ment­ing work­able and ef­fec­tive mea­sures can fa­cil­i­tate that so­lu­tion. Byrne’s sug­ges­tion that it is time for na­tion­ally con­sis­tent pol­icy re­form leaves SARTA ques­tion­ing whether that im­plies that Western Aus­tralia and North­ern Ter­ri­tory – two re­gions which have not adopted the Heavy Ve­hi­cle Na­tional Law ( HVNL) – are to be blamed for the prob­lems re­lated to safety.

SARTA rec­om­mends the fol­low­ing mea­sures and con­sid­er­a­tions be­fore any na­tional-level de­ci­sions are taken: 1. “Try to un­der­stand what is dif­fer­ent about NSW that is caus­ing or al­low­ing a higher crash rate. You can’t solve a prob­lem un­til you ac­tu­ally un­der­stand it prop­erly. 2. “Care­fully con­sider what is be­ing pro­posed by the NSW politi­cians and some in­dus­try reps and see if it is rel­e­vant and prac­ti­ca­ble in the rest of the coun­try. 3. “Be wary of snake- oil sales­men who will, like be­fore, try to take ad­van­tage of the higher crash rates in NSW to flog their own agen­das and even sys­tems and, heaven for­bid, leg­isla­tive so­lu­tions such as manda­tory telem­at­ics, etc.”

“Why should the rest of the coun­try march to the beat of the NSW drum?”

Steve Shearer

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