Drive safely in dangerous conditions, ATA says

Message to industry to play it safe and allow extra time for travel as temperatures soar and bushfires rage

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | January 7, 2013

The Australian Trucking Association is calling on the industry to play it safe on the roads and allow extra time for travel as temperatures soar and bushfires rage across parts of Tasmania.

ATA Government Relations and Communications National Manager Bill McKinley says drivers should expect delays on the roads and stay clear from dangerous conditions.

"Bushfires can destroy semi-trailers on the road, as the tragic deaths in the 2007 Western Australian fires showed," McKinley says.

"The ATA’s message for drivers and operators is to play it safe: follow police directions and don’t try to press on through dangerous conditions."

McKinley has also put the onus on the supply chain to show some understanding and patience when scheduling deliveries.

"You can’t demand that operators or drivers make up time by speeding or driving while fatigued. This is unlawful under the chain of responsibility laws," he says.

"Company directors and executives can be held personally liable for breaches of these laws as well as their businesses."

The major fire at Bicheno in Tasmania’s east has been downgraded. The Tasmania Fire Service says the Tasman Highway has also reopened.

A total fire ban has been declared for the southern and northern Riverina in New South Wales today. The NSW Rural Fire Service says temperatures are set to hit 45 degrees.

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