Consistent, mandatory standards for truck rest areas are needed, Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Chief of Staff Bill McKinley told a parliamentary inquiry.
Mr McKinley was giving evidence before the Joint Select Committee on Road Safety, which is inquiring into and reporting on the impact of road trauma and how to support the Australian Parliament’s resolve to reduce incidents on our roads.
“We still need consistent standards for building rest areas, including basic amenities like toilets, water and shade,” he said. “The road is a truck driver’s workplace; they deserve to have access to facilities like any other worker.”
According to Mr McKinley progress was being made with regards to rest areas. “In our submission, we noted that rest areas on Australia’s major highways were not eligible for funding under the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program,” he said. “Under round seven of the program, announced in March, those rest areas can now be funded.”
Mr McKinley highlighted the need to accelerate the uptake of proven safety technologies. “If implemented with an extension of mandatory electronic stability control to new rigid trucks, mandating autonomous emergency braking would save 102 lives and prevent 2564 serious injuries on our roads.”
The ATA submission put forward a detailed plan to address the overwhelming number of certification and customer audits.
“TruckSafe certification is an assurance for everyone that trucking businesses are safe, but there are two government certification schemes and many industry customers insist on doing their own safety audits too,” said Mr McKinley.
But despite the progress being made in reducing the number and rate of truck crashes, Mr McKinley said the number of crashes involving trucks was still unacceptable.
“The ATA supports a vision zero target. Every road user should be able to get home safely, every day,” he said. “We need safer roads, safer vehicles, better safety systems and better information to link it all together.”
The ATA appeared before the committee in conjunction with ATA member association NatRoad.
To read the ATA submission, please click here.