ATA furious over RTA oversight

The RTA is ignoring the real cause of truck road accidents, infuriating the ATA.

By Samantha Freestone

The RTA is ignoring the real cause of truck road accidents and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is furious the transport industry is being victimised. Again.

These claims are on the back of a media report that details the RTA’s plans to "fine truck drivers based on the time they take to journey between Safe-T-Cam points on the State’s road network".

ATA NSW spokesperson Jill Lewis says the plan ignores latest research into truck accidents that highlights 77.5 percent of accidents are due to tight turning circles and the like, not blatant speeding.

"The latest accident research shows that 77.5 percent of speed-related truck crashes are caused by drivers trying to go around corners or roundabouts too fast. These drivers could well be travelling at a legal speed, but are going too fast for the conditions," she says.

According to Lewis, the RTA is "targeting" the transport industry when recent laws such as the new fatigue legislation and its accompanying chain-of-responsibility regulations see the industry more tightly controlled than ever before.

"Credit must be given where credit is due," she says.

Lewis says it is a cheap shot, when a more concentrated police presence on the roads is what is really needed.

"They need to bolster the police presence on the roads, and I realise that would not be as cost effective but it would be more effective in lowering fatalities and it would more effective then [what they are proposing].

"Certainly then if they are having speed cameras they should target all vehicles and not just us," she says.

"I feel that the RTA and government should look at road statistics. Anything that saves a life is great and worthwhile [but] I have a problem when trucks are targeted.

"The Safe-T-Cam plan would not stop any of these crashes, because it is aimed at detecting illegal speeding over long distances.

"In addition, the Safe-T-Cam plan focuses on penalising truck drivers, rather than using the chain-of-responsibility laws to go after the tiny number of companies and consignors who force their drivers to meet unachievable deadlines."

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