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Queensland Police must go beyond the driver: TWU

Union says police need to do more than fine truck drivers


The Queensland branch of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) wants the state’s police to go beyond the truck driver when breaches of road transport law are detected.

Speaking after the conclusion of Operation Austrans, TWU transport coordinator Graham Garrett says authorities need to look at why truck drivers are committing offences. 

Queensland Police inspected more than 12,500 trucks during Austrans and detected 794 fatigue-related breaches and 280 instances of drivers exceeding work hours. 

“It’s important we have the police and transport inspectors on our roads, but for every offence, we must look beyond the driver,” Garrett says.

“The real issue that is not being addressed lies in why these truckies were breaking the law.”

Garrett says truck drivers are breaking the law because they are being pressured from higher up the supply chain to meet unrealistic deadlines. 

He says the entire supply chain needs to be held accountable.

“When a truckie’s pay is linked to meeting a deadline, travelling a particular amount of kilometres or carrying a certain load weight, you have economic pressure and that is what is pushing truckies to skip breaks, speed or delay maintenance,” he says. 

Queensland Police also issued 216 infringement notices for speeding offences and 127 fines for driving without a seatbelt during Austrans, which ran from May 12 to June 8.

Deputy commissioner Ross Barnett says most truck drivers and businesses take their safety obligations seriously.

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