Covid-19 restrictions spur new trucking customer warning

NHVR and ATA highlight legal sanctions as Covid-19 restriction starts

Covid-19 restrictions spur new trucking customer warning
Sal Petroccitto


Trucking industry customers must avoid making demands that would affect safety if there are delays due to Victoria’s Covid-19 restrictions, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) CEO Sal Petroccitto and Australian Trucking Association (ATA) CEO Ben Maguire insist in a joint declaration.

Managers contracting with transport and logistics firms are reminded that the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) imposes duties on the trucking industry’s customers as well as trucking businesses.

"By law, road freight safety is a shared responsibility of all the businesses in the supply chain, whether they operate trucks, load them, consign freight or receive it," Petroccitto says.

"Businesses in the supply chain must, so far as is reasonably practicable, not cause or encourage other businesses or drivers to break the law, such as by speeding or driving while fatigued.

"It has to be recognised that the Victorian restrictions may cause delays, particularly with the reduction in the peak workforce at supermarket distribution centres.

"The NHVR will not tolerate attempts to pressure trucking businesses or drivers to break the law to maintain schedules. We all need to focus on safety and getting this virus under control, not on meeting delivery KPIs that may now be unachievable."

Read how the NHVR viewed safety at the start of the pandemic, here

Maguire says the ATA’s member associations and corporate members had reaffirmed that the first priority of supply chain businesses must be the safety of their workers and the public.

"The ATA and our member associations represent thousands of trucking businesses, large and small. This week, at our general council meeting, our members confirmed their commitment to safety first," he adds.

"It is essential that every business in the supply chain recognises that they must maintain safety on the road.

"I urge our customers to consult their road freight providers about how they are responding to the restrictions, to make sure their approach doesn’t affect safety.

"We owe it to our drivers and we owe it to the public to keep our roads safe."

Anyone with safety concerns could contact the NHVR’s Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line on 1800 931 785.


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