ATA eyes new initiatives in two-year strategic plan

TruckSafe standards update, new technical advisory procedure on rear underrun protection and new interactive Road Ahead display on ATA's agenda

April 11, 2013

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is eyeing the launch of new initiatives as part of its two-year strategic plan.

Announced yesterday at the ATA’s annual general meeting, the plan details the areas the association will focus on between 2013 and 2015.

The ATA intends to update its TruckSafe accreditation standards this year, while the group’s technical council will develop a new advisory procedure covering rear underrun protection. The ATA last year released an advisory paper on side underrun protection.

"In 2013, the ATA will unveil a new interactive display in the [Road Ahead] exhibition, as well as a new road safety website and safety tips," the plan states.

It says the ATA intends to, subject to funding, develop a self-test guide that drivers and their partners can use to determine their risk of sleep apnoea.

During his recent National Press Club speech, ATA Chairman David Simon referred to sleep apnoea as a key safety issue that must be addressed.

"Sleep apnoea is a medical condition that can increase the risk of crashing by between two and seven times," he told the Press Club.

"Two in five truck drivers could have sleep apnoea, but most of them would not detect as positive on the test used in truck driver medicals."

The strategic plan outlines the association’s lobbying focus, which will centre on national regulations, consistent heavy vehicle licensing , carbon tax, road pricing and the preservation of fuel tax credits.

Simon lists the ATA's campaign against the carbon tax as a priority for 2013.

Under the Federal Government’s plan, the carbon tax will be applied to the fuel used by the trucking industry on July 1, 2014. It will lead to an increase in the excise of 6.85 cents per litre.

"This year, we will also need to focus on lobbying the state and territory governments to sign up to the Heavy Vehicle National Law with as few changes as possible, which will deliver safety benefits and reduce the compliance burden on operators over time," Simon says.

"I think we should recognise the state governments have been very proactive in this area, and that there are expected to be very few variations in the way the laws are implemented between states."

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