Governments need to get serious about speeding laws: ATA

By: Jason Whittaker


The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says the state and territory governments need to implement stronger speeding laws in conjunction with

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says the state and territory governments need to implement stronger speeding laws in conjunction with the fatigue management reforms in September rather than delaying their introduction.

ATA CEO Stuart St Clair says the existing speeding laws are not good enough because they do not stop companies and customers from pressuring drivers to speed.

"Four years ago, we called on governments to develop ‘chain of responsibility’ speeding laws to require company managers, schedulers and customers to take reasonable steps to make sure their delivery schedules and deadlines do not force drivers to speed," St Clair says.

The various transport ministers agreed on a model law in January but the only state that will introduce the law come September will be New South Wales.

St Clair has accused the other jursidictions of taking a calvalier approach to road safety, arguing they need to follow the lead of NSW.

"The state and territory governments need to get serious about the road toll," he says.
"They need to pass the proposed laws to stop people imposing deadlines that our drivers can’t meet without speeding."

"They need to impose the speeding laws at the same time as the fatigue management reforms in September because there is a link between fatigue and speed in improving the safety performance of road transport," St Clair says.

The ATA is also calling for more to be done to enforce speed limits, saying relying on digital tacographs and GPS systems is not enough.

St Clair says technology cannot substitute a strong chain of responsibility framework and a heavy police presence.
"We want the states and territories to spend our money on targeted, high profile enforcement that will stop speeding, rather than using speeding fines as a source of revenue," St Clair says.

"The trucking industry is now contributing $65 million per year toward the cost of heavy vehicle enforcement. We’re entitled to get value for our money."

Speed management will be an important focus of the forthcoming ATA Safety Summit, which will be held on 28 May in conjunction with the 2008 Australian Trucking Convention. The summit will focus on changing the culture of the community, regulators, clients of road transport, and the industry to emphasise safety.

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook