Survey on overseas licensed drivers set to close this week

A survey inviting the heavy vehicle industry to share its views on the management of overseas licensed heavy vehicle drivers is set to close this Friday, July 12.

The anonymous Austroads questionnaire is a “response to industry concerns and recognising the differences between driving in Australia and overseas”. 

It asks questions around how long heavy vehicle drivers from overseas should be permitted to drive on an overseas licence,  what kind of vehicles they should be allowed to operate, and the process of transferring to an Australian licence. 

Austroads hopes that the answers given will provide it with “valuable information” that will help inform policy review and decision making.  

“Overseas licensed heavy vehicle drivers are generally welcomed in Australia as they provide valuable skills and help address current industry shortages,” a spokesperson said.

“However, there have been concerns raised about the road safety risk of these drivers. 

“Austroads, on behalf of its eight state and territory member agencies, is seeking to understand whether changes should be made to the management of overseas licensed heavy vehicle drivers.”  

Michael Nieuwesteeg, Austroads roads safety and design program manager said that he didn’t want to dismiss the concerns of the heavy vehicle industry, but pointed out that the evidence available shows that there are “relatively few” heavy vehicle crashes which involve overseas licensed drivers.  

“Despite this, licensing authorities understand that while in Australia, overseas licence holders may face driving conditions, and a road use and safety culture which differs from their country of origin,” he added.  

Austroads is encouraging truck drivers, operators, individuals and businesses who rely on heavy vehicles to fill out the short survey here

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