ATA hits back at TWU over speed limit proposal

ATA says while the union continues its broadside, the trucking body is making 'real' difference to industry issues

ATA hits back at TWU over speed limit proposal
ATA CEO Christopher Melham says ATA has a longstanding position to support stricter penalties for heavy vehicle speeding offences.


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has come down hard on the Transport Workers Union (TWU) after the latter lambasted the national trucking body for siding with the National Transport Commission (NTC) on its speed limit enforcement proposal.

While ATA has backed the proposal to immediately ground heavy vehicles if they are caught driving 15km/h or more above the speed limit, the union has been critical of the approach, calling it a "band-aid solution" to underlying problems that force drivers to speed.

On Wednesday, TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon attacked ATA and NatRoad for their "conspicuous silence" on issues faced by truck drivers.

ATA CEO Christopher Melham clarifies the trucking body's position on safety, speed enforcement and grounding of heavy vehicles.

Melham reiterates that ATA’s submission to the NTC on its speed enforcement discussion paper included the following recommendations:

  • The NTC should not proceed with its proposal for a power to immediately ground heavy vehicles travelling 15 km/h or more over posted or default speed limits (for example, a vehicle travelling at 78km/hr in a 60km/h zone); but
  • The NTC should proceed with the ATA proposal to support the grounding of heavy vehicles for speeding offences of 15 km/h and above the open road 100 km/h limit when the detected speeding occurs on a flat road.

Melham says ATA has a "longstanding position" to support stricter penalties for heavy vehicle speeding offences.

"The ATA submission makes it clear that the industry does not support a proposal for the grounding of trucks found to be speeding by more than 15km/h over posted speed limits.

"The ATA is proud of its 25 year history and commitment to road safety and 2016 signifies the 20th Anniversary of TruckSafe, the most comprehensive heavy vehicle accreditation scheme in Australia.

ATA once again highlights recent findings that suggest a marked decline in fatal truck crashes in Australia between 1982 and 2015.


Fatal -crash -rate _600x 421


While the union continues to criticise employer groups, the association "continues to represent the real interests of owner drivers".

"As a result of lobbying by the ATA, governments have agreed to dramatic reforms to Australia’s road transport laws.

"This includes a general safety duty on all parties, including the industry’s customers, a massive increase in penalties, and an increase in investigative powers against businesses whose decisions affect road safety.

"These reforms, which capture consignors and consignees, are currently being implemented in the national chain of responsibility legislation."

The ATA also says that TWU's media release, entitled Employer Groups Create a Smokescreen for Unsafe Roads, dated July 5, could be construed as the union defending rogue operators that tamper with their speed limiters.



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