RTA to consider training reforms

A week after a parliamentary committee recommended mandatory refresher training for drivers, the RTA says it will consider the idea

RTA to consider training reforms
We'll consider training reforms, the RTA says
By Brad Gardner | October 8, 2010

The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority will look at mandatory refresher training for truck drivers after a parliamentary committee called for reforms to the transport industry.

While the RTA is still digesting the 18 recommendations stemming from a heavy vehicle inquiry by the Joint Standing Committee on Road Safety, the department has signalled intent to act.

The committee wants drivers subjected to 100 hours of training courses every three years in line with European standards to increase driver competency and development.

"The RTA will give consideration to the recommendation of mandatory driver refresher training for heavy vehicle drivers," an RTA spokesperson says.

The Committee also called for the RTA to "lobby strongly" for changes to design standards and the mandatory introduction of electronic stability control and underrun protection devices.

The RTA spokesperson says the department was actively involved in lobbying for front underrun protection systems (FUPS) and continues to push for rear and side underrun devices for trucks.

Underrun protection systems prevent cars from being trapped underneath a truck during a crash.

"FUPS also prevent damage to the truck’s steering – enabling the truck driver to remain in control," the spokesperson says.

The committee recommended changes to front-mounted bull bars in future Australian Design Standards and for trucking companies to be required to fit adaptive cruise control and lane assist technologies.

"The introduction of nationwide vehicle standards is the responsibility of the Department of Infrastructure and Transport," the RTA spokesperson says.

"This includes changes to Australian Design Rules for the inclusion of electronic stability control, adaptive cruise control, lane assist technologies and under-run protection devices with compatible bull bars.

Made up of Independents, Labor and Liberal politicians, the Committee called for the use of electronic work diaries for fatigue and speed compliance. The RTA has already suggested implementing mandatory truck trackers.

The Committee recommended the RTA hold talks with council and industry representatives to address the lack of heavy vehicle parking facilities, and to improve rest area design standards.

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