Policy reform on the radar in second safety meeting


ALC calls for urgency in regulatory action as ATA recommends practicable rules that support operations

Policy reform on the radar in second safety meeting
Role of new technologies was discussed at the second safety meet.

 

Industry representative bodies say the second safety meeting built on previous positive discussions with authorities in bringing about key policy reforms that encourage safety.

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) were in attendance at yesterday’s meeting, which was convened by NSW roads, maritime and freight minister Melinda Pavey, the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) and NSW police.

"As an industry leader on freight and supply chain policy issues, ALC has continually emphasised that our supply chains do not stop at state borders, meaning the regulations which apply to heavy vehicles and freight movement must be nationally consistent," ALC MD Michael Kilgariff says.

"The NSW government should be commended for taking a lead in working closely with industry to identify and implement policy changes that will improve safety.

"Today’s meeting of industry representatives was further evidence that this sector is more than willing to play an active role and work cooperatively with governments to enhance road safety."

ATA CEO Ben Maguire says the meeting followed "positive discussions" from last week’s meeting.

"The meeting confirmed our view that there needs to be broad ranging action to address the NSW road toll," Maguire says.

"In particular, more action is needed on issues like crash investigation, safer roads, and driver training and education."

He says there is a need for feasible safety regulations that support, not hinder, operations.

"Industry representatives put the view that voluntary electronic work diaries must enable greater flexibility and individually tailored fatigue management for drivers, who at the moment can’t rest when they are tired because of the prescriptive fatigue rules.

"Safety regulation is vital, but it has to make a difference and has to reasonably practicable.

"Otherwise, it just means that operators spends all their time and money ticking boxes and can’t focus on the big safety picture."

ALC has once again backed Toll Group MD Michael Byrne’s recommendation to the prime minister in calling for nationally-consistent policy reforms so that operators from all states and territories work under one set of rules.

Kilgariff says yesterday’s meeting had a particular focus on the role new technologies will play in enhancing safety.

"Conversations about the capacity of on-board telematics devices that capture data relating to speed, driver fatigue and vehicle load limits to improve road safety have been occurring for years," he says.

"ALC believes the time has come for decisive action in this area, and urges the NSW Government to play a leading role in persuading the next meeting of the Transport and Infrastructure Council (TIC) to recommend the immediate development of laws requiring the mandatory use of telematics in heavy vehicles.

"Similarly, ALC urges the NSW Government to use TIC as a forum to pursue a national operator licencing system.

"This will help make certain that heavy vehicles are operated by competent professionals who adopt and follow proper safety management systems, and who can retain sufficient capital to invest in transport safety."

"ALC applauds the NSW Government’s initiative in holding today’s discussions, and hopes they can help advance these urgently-needed safety initiatives nationally."

You can also follow our updates by joining our LinkedIn group or liking us on Facebook