Opinion: A global safety approach

By: Geoff Crouch

New international road safety guidelines will help reduce deaths on Australian roads

Opinion: A global safety approach
Geoff Crouch


The importance of strong safety standards, fair payments for small businesses, improving truck rest areas, driver training and road safety have all been highlighted in the release of new global safety guidelines.

In September 2019, I was selected to represent Australian and New Zealand truck and bus businesses at the United Nation’s International Labour Organization’s (ILO’s) expert meeting in Geneva, joining experts from around the world to develop the new code of practice and guidelines on best practice in road transport safety.

It was an honour to be invited and hosted as a guest of the International Labour Organization, which presented the valuable opportunity to raise important safety issues while gaining insightful input from world safety leaders.

Road transport is critical to the economy in Australia and globally, but we lose far too many people to road crashes.

We need more action to improve safety on Australia’s roads. Globally, road fatalities are the eighth leading cause of death.

The ATA has welcomed these guidelines and if they are adopted globally, they will save lives.

The guidelines recognise significant safety, professionalism and viability priorities for the industry.

Safe working practices, fair payment terms for small business, improving driver training and industry diversity are all significant local priorities that are reflected in the guidelines.

I was absolutely delighted that the need for good quality and more frequent truck rest areas was also reflected.

Read Geoff Crouch’s review of the year in trucking, here

The opportunity to join the expert meeting presented a unique opportunity to represent the Australian and New Zealand trucking industries and positively contribute to the development of important safety guidelines, representing the best interests of trucking operators on an international platform.

I commend the tripartite approach of guideline development, and the high level of standard that was implemented during the process.

The experience of participating in the expert meeting followed by the guideline development was an insightful and detailed process which provided many learnings that could be implemented in the way we develop legislation here in Australia.

Having government, operators, regulators and other industry members all come together in the same room provided an invaluable collaborative opportunity.

Participating in the expert meeting and having an input in influencing global road safety legislation has strengthened the ATA’s formal consultative relationship with all levels of government in not only Australia, but around the world.

Not every clause will be applicable to Australia, but the guidelines reflect a number of our priorities and in some nations would represent big gains for road safety.

Geoff Crouch chairs the Australian Trucking Association


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