ALDODA calls for NTC action on fatigue laws


Australian Long Distance Owner Drivers Association director Peter Schuback has put the National Transport Commission into his organisation’s sights

By Rob McKay | September 13, 2010

True to form as a thorn in the side of government, Australian Long Distance Owner Drivers Association (ALDODA) director Peter Schuback has put the National Transport Commission (NTC) into his organisation’s sights.

Armed with Trilby Misso Lawyers wielding duty-of-care regulations under the Queensland Criminal Code section 289, the association has responded to the NTC’s fatigue management review by putting it on notice.

"I have now sent a letter to the NTC in regards to what I consider is their failure of their duty of care for not ensuring that all states have in place adequate infrastructure for the use of all truck drivers for them to be able to manage their fatigue and to be able to have the use of basic infrastructure (toilets , showers, and the availability of a place to prepare food or obtain food that is healthy and nutritious)," Schuback told ATN.

"The NTC and all states have a duty of care as the managers of the current fatigue management laws to ensure that facilities are available for the use of all truck drivers to use to be able to manage their fatigue.

"Their failure to provide the facilities is a failure of their duty of care and a failure of their part of the chain of responsibility.

"It is a criminal offence to fail in your duty of care and action could be taken under the Queensland Criminal code of 1899 section 289 and also under tort law and the civil liabilities act.

"What is good for the goose is good for the gander and if these people keep bringing out laws that are detrimental to the transport industry I will keep using their laws against them."

The NTC had responded to two emailed messages from Schuback, welcoming his views and inviting responses to fatigue management report changes through its website, a spokeswoman says.

Schuback says his association’s campaign for his members to seek reviews of infringement notices has cost the NSW Government $324 million in lost revenue based on a cost of $658 per investigation.

The ALDODA had advised members to request statutory declarations from inspectors and police that enter drivers’ cabins that they are insured to "take control" of the vehicle or otherwise be liable legally for any damage to or by the vehicle.

Few if any inspectors or police have a licence to take control of a truck, Schuback says.

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