Crellin seeks industry’s help to enforce COR

By: Brad Gardner

NHVR COR manager says successful COR prosecutions rely on industry helping authorities.


Trucking operators and drivers must be prepared to testify in court if they hope to secure chain of responsibility prosecutions against large players in the supply chain.

That is the message from the head of COR within the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR), Michael Crellin, who has implored operators and drivers to be more proactive if they wish to see results.

Crellin says authorities are prepared to launch prosecutions but cannot do so without sufficient evidence or witnesses.

"One of the great challenges that we have for chain of responsibility is to reach beyond the transport company themselves. What we actually need is people ready and prepared to stand up and say, ‘hang on, this is exactly what is happening’. But not on an anecdotal level. We actually need people to come in and be the witnesses," Crellin says.

"So that’s my appeal to you. If you want us to get involved and get very, very active in terms of putting other people in the supply chain before court, we actually need your help to do that…We are very, very prepared to do that, very prepared."

The former police officer made the comments to a room of Transport Workers Union (TWU) representatives during a union-organised event on safety in the trucking industry.

"We have a really strong sense — and the anecdotal evidence speaks very loudly in regards to what actually goes on — but until people are prepared to stand up and say, ‘No, these are the sorts of things that are causing the offending to occur on the side of the road’, we’re somewhat handcuffed in our role," he says.

Crellin, who supports proposed legislative changes to COR, says the industry needs to band together to address unsafe practices, and that includes a willingness to stand up to transport clients trying to enforce unfair contracts.

"So when you stand unified and everybody says, ‘Hey, we’re not going to cop this any more, we’re not going to sign up to those contracts that you’re demanding’, then you’ll get a change but you can only do that together," Crellin says.

The Queensland-based Crellin hails from Gatton, just over one hour west of Brisbane, and says his passion for COR stems in part from the town’s annual homage to fallen truck drivers.

"Every year there is a memorial called Lights on the Hill and I am sick and tired of seeing new names put on that memorial every year. I can’t stand it. So that’s why I get motivated about chain of responsibility, that’s why I go into companies and say, ‘fix your business practices because I know what the results are with the drivers on the side of the road and I don’t like dealing with it’."


It seems the success of chain of responsibility prosecutions rests on the shoulders of truck drivers and owners.

Posted by Owner Driver on Wednesday, 12 August 2015


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