Union blames truck speeding on customers


TWU claims new speed statistics are proof drivers are under financial pressure from customers

July 12, 2010

The Transport Workers Union has leapt on the release of new heavy vehicle speed statistics, claiming financial pressure is forcing truck drivers to break speed limits.

A Roads and Traffic Authority survey published in the Sydney Morning Herald today claims 37.7 percent of heavy vehicles exceeded 100km/h limits in NSW last year, an increase of more than nine percent over the last 10 years.

The NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre told the paper crash rates are up by 25 percent due in most part to incentives and pressure to drive faster.

"The NSW Injury Risk Management Research Centre has…confirmed the industry is ‘driven by incentives and continuous pressure that require them to drive faster’," TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon says.

He says drivers have no control over pay conditions and are forced to make ends meet by unsafe practices.

Sheldon has repeated his call for the establishment of a federal tribunal to ensure drivers and companies are paid enough to get the job done safely.

"An independent tribunal would allow drivers and companies to come together for conciliation and to get a ruling, and if that tribunal was industry specific and includes client accountability, the outcomes would see large improvements in safety and the way the industry is run," Sheldon says.

A policy paper is due to be released soon by the Federal Government outlining how it plans to reform the pay system in the trucking industry.

The NSW branch of the TWU claims it will be released today, but a spokesperson for Industrial Relations Minister Simon Crean declined to specify a date.

The government paper is in response to the findings of a 2008 report that found a demonstrable link between low rates of pay and poor safety in the heavy vehicle industry.


You can also follow our updates by liking us on Facebook