Don’t we have a duty of care to ensure a cohesive industry?

It’s every Bored Neurotic Housewife’s mission in life is to nurture their loved ones, so the use of the term ‘duty of care’ would seem a reasonable expectation in this journey.

Anyone in your path through life has a duty of care to you. 

Anyone in the supply chain has a duty of care to you and other road users.

Anything in life, the provider has a duty of care…except, it seems, if you are a truck driver.

In recent weeks there have been too many drivers lost to accidents that simply shouldn’t have happened.

Equally, there have been many Facebook and other social media posts, some factual and, more than ever, the ignorant fake IDs that love to stir up trouble where it’s uncalled for and inappropriate.

Yes, there is a huge, undeniable problem with the skillset of many new drivers that come to operate in Australian conditions they are not used to driving in. This has been an issue for a long time.

The unions don’t do anything about it unless you are a gig worker, or drive an Uber. Associations can’t do anything about it as it’s up to ministers to change the minimum requirements. Governments won’t do anything about it as it “could impact reciprocal arrangements for Australians driving in other countries”.

Why has the truck never been acknowledged as the ‘workplace’ of a driver in an accident? Because the crossed t’s and dotted i’s on the current pieces of compliance paper would show the lack of ‘duty of care’.

What does the frustrated truckie go and do? Heads to Facebook and starts inflaming situations with stupid posts, with flagrant disregard to honesty or integrity. One poster, in particular, took exception to the age of one of the drivers we recently lost on SA’s Eyre Highway at Yalata.

As at the time of writing, all the circumstances of the horrific crash at Yalata have not been disclosed, but this keyboard warrior decided the crash was as a result of one of the drivers being “too old” to hold their licence; clearly a keyboard doctor that knew about this man’s health better than any real specialist did.

The wife of one of the drivers is on one of these groups and she exclaimed her dismay at the posts. At that stage, she hadn’t even had the accident confirmed to her. Imagine the added distress to all those that lost their loved one of having to deal with the speculation and insinuations during their intense time of grief.

Have we really come to a point in life that social media is more important that plain common sense or decency?

Facebook is now a tool used by politicians who relish and delight in the way the trucking industry tears itself apart from the inside out. They can see that truckies don’t back each other and, with so many splinter groups, it is easy to divide and conquer.

Duty of Care. Don’t drivers, owner-drivers and small business have a duty of care to themselves to ensure a cohesive industry as well?

Forget big business and the associations – think about yourselves. We need to work together to achieve better outcomes. Talk and work WITH each other again, not denigrate others because ‘the system’ allows less skilled drivers on our roads.

It’s so sad when someone dies, especially suddenly. Like any family, and yes truckies are a family, unique and with its own quirks, but nonetheless a family, there will be accusations, innuendo and outright nastiness spoken during these times.

Emotions – tangible, palpable, real… but grown-ups can generally acknowledge their emotions and keep them in check.

Social media – well that’s a whole different world. Too many don’t keep anything in check; factual or real. Herein lies the problem.

Words spoken, written, and read in haste can never be taken back and will always be a part of that person’s memory.

The old adage “shit sticks”, and in many cases it sticks unjustly. Hasn’t it stuck to the drivers and their families in this industry long enough?

How can we expect non-industry people to understand the difficulties and pain endured by the industry if we can’t be decent to our own?

Is social media vigilantism acceptable in any form? NEVER.

Duty of care is a family thing. Most families close ranks in times of crisis, where’s ours?

  • Bored Neurotic Housewives are a passionate group of truckies’ wives and partners doing their bit to lobby for positive changes in the industry.

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