NSW Labor wants mandatory black boxes in trucks

NSW Labor wants mandatory black boxes in trucks in the wake of the fatal Cootes tanker crash

October 15, 2013

The fatal Cootes tanker crash in Sydney has swung political support toward black boxes in trucks, with the New South Wales Opposition saying it will back a move to make them mandatory.

Sections of the transport and logistics industry, including Linfox and Toll, have previously backed compulsory tracking devices in trucks, and now Opposition spokesman on roads Ryan Park has written to Roads Minister Duncan Gay asking the Government to look at the issue.

Park believes existing compliance and accreditation regulations are not enough and that dangerous goods vehicles should be prioritised if black boxes are mandated.

However, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says it does not support Park’s proposal.

"Black box technology can create a false impression of safety, because businesses still need to have strong safety systems to prevent accidents from occurring in the first place," National Manager of Government Relations and Communications Bill McKinley says.

"Unless you have these systems, fitting black boxes just produces a tidal wave of information that no-one looks at.

"The ATA runs the industry's leading safety accreditation program, TruckSafe. We know that some of the safest trucking businesses in the country use paper based systems to run their operations."

Toll, Linfox, Asciano and the Australian Logistics Council (ALC) support mandatory monitoring devices in trucks travelling more than 500km. All parties believe the devices should be used to track driver fatigue and speed on the basis both issues are the major causes of truck accidents.

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