SARTA targets reform view
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?”