Spend our money on anti-speeding measures: ATA

ATA wants states and territories to invest more in anti-speeding enforcement measures and chain of responsibility laws for speeding

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says jurisdictions must introduce chain of responsibility laws and enforcement measures for speeding to improve safety in the trucking industry.

ATA Chairman Trevor Martyn says the industry needs new speeding laws coupled with uniform fatigue management regulations to reduce heavy vehicle fatalities.

Martyn has criticised the states for not adopting New South Wales’ lead in being the only government to introduce chain of responsibility measures for speeding.

"The Australian, state and territory transport ministers only agreed on the model for the new laws in January this year," Martyn says.

"The next step is for the state and territory governments to put the model into effect, but only New South Wales will be doing anything about it this year."

The ATA has long argued for the measure, with Martyn saying it will ensure drivers are not forced to break speed limits.

Because the trucking industry contributes $65 million per year toward heavy vehicle enforcement, Martyn says the ATA is entitled to demand how that money is spent.

"We want them to spend it on targeted, high profile enforcement that will stop speeding rather than using speeding fines as a source of revenue," he says.

According to Martyn, states and territories are not doing enough to enforce speed limits.

Furthermore, he says more must be done in granting greater access for B-triples. Doing so, Martyn says, will reduce the number of trucks on the road, in turn increasing productivity and safety.

Responding to the latest crash statistics from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE), Martyn says the trucking industry has dramatically improved its safety record the last 20 years.

He says there has been a 30 percent decline in truck fatalities between 1987 and 2007 despite the fact there are more trucks and other vehicles on the road.

"It’s the result of better roads, better trucks, and a focus on safety and professionalism across the whole industry," Martyn says.

Although industry fatalities have fallen based on a five-year trend, numbers have steadily increased since 2004. There were 150 fatalities that year and 172 in 2007.

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