Crouch aims logic at truck safety debate

ATA chair notes fatality falls outside of NSW and reiterates probe reform call

Crouch aims logic at truck safety debate
Geoff Crouch has urged ATSB probes for major truck accidents


Australian Trucking Association (ATA) chair Geoff Crouch has sought to deflect safe rates arguments related to debate around the recent spike in New South Wales truck-related fatal road accidents.

In doing so, Crouch has called for more detailed and thorough investigation of major truck accidents on a no-fault basis, a push begun by his predecessor, David Simon, in 2013 and repeated the following year.

If taken up by government, the idea would be for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to have its remit extended to include major truck accidents.

Crouch also wants $4.3 million spend federally over four years on a national databases of coronial recommendations about road safety and of serious truck accidents.

The intervention comes in a column for the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) and after transport academic Professor Anne Williamson used the figures to highlight productivity-based remuneration, the effects of which are mostly "incompatible with safety", and fatigue as evils besetting the long-haul trucking industry, and while the Transport Workers Union (TWU) highlighted the demise of the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal (RSRT), of which Williamson was a part.

"These suggestions are not supported by the evidence," Crouch argues.

"Although truck drivers work long hours, their work and rest times are tightly regulated. NSW has the same driver fatigue laws as Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania."

He points out that  the same year that deaths in NSW increased, the number of deaths in articulated truck crashes fell in Victoria by 4.5 per cent, Queensland  by 14.8 per cent, South Australia by23.1 per cent and Tasmania by 80 per cent.

The Crouch column can be found here and the Williamson column can be found here.


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