Truck regulator needs COR focus, ATA says

ATA pushes national focus on chain of responsibility and for ways to reduce driver errors on the road

March 22, 2010

A national trucking regulator must focus on chain of responsibility laws, according to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA).

ATA Chief Executive says enforcing chain of responsibility on a national level will improve safety in the trucking industry. Seamless regulations for trucking are due to come into effect in 2013 to end cross-border inconsistencies.

"The trucking industry has made massive improvements in safety in the last 20 years, but only through a nationally consistent approach can we continue to reduce accidents on our roads and ensure that every road user gets home safely," St Clair says.

He also called for the regulator to encourage trucking companies to complete safety accreditation programs.

The ATA boss made the comments during his address to the National Road Safety Council where he said governments need to recognise drivers make mistakes and systems should be built to minimise the consequences.

The council is to advise the Rudd Government on the development of a 10-year road safety strategy designed to chart a long-term vision and adopt national targets.

"Statistics show 75 per cent of accidents involving articulated trucks are not the fault of the heavy vehicle driver, so measures to improve the safety of motorists generally will reduce the number of truck accidents," ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair says.

St Clair says ways to reduce driver error is to increase the number of divided highways, build more rest areas and make sure intersections are suitable for heavy vehicles.

He says trucking companies should also be encouraged to update their vehicles and regulators should support larger and more efficient combinations.

"By looking at ways of improving each of these elements, the Australian Government can make significant difference to safety on our roads," St Clair says.

St Clair also used his speech to promote the ATA driver licensing proposal as a way of improving safety.

Instead of drivers being forced to wait a specified time before moving to a higher vehicle class, the ATA wants a competency based scheme where drivers complete a TAFE or registered training organisation (RTO) course.

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