The Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey and Deputy Police Commissioner Ross Barnett announced the results of the month-long Operation Austrans police blitz on truckies, today.

TWU General Transport Coordinator Graham Garrett said while it was good to see the police out on the roads doing their job, the real problem and the real pressures were not being addressed.

‘The police alone are not the answer to road safety,’ Mr Garrett said.

‘The companies and the supply chain must be investigated and held to account through the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal to make a real difference to our roads and for the safety of our truckies.’

“Over 300 people die on our roads each year in truck crashes.’

‘The real issue that is not being addressed lies in why these truckies were breaking the law,’ Mr Garrett said.

Results from the Safe Rates Survey 2012 show that 73% of truckies working in the Coles Supply Chain believe that pressure from big retail clients, like Coles, is a major cause of unsafe practices in the industry.

Some other startling facts from the drivers in the Coles Supply Chain:

  • 46% feel pressure to skip breaks
  • 31% feel pressure to exceed safe driving hours
  • 28% feel pressure to speed
  • 26% feel pressure to carry overweight loads
  • 11% feel pressure to take stimulants to stay awake
  • 24% had to wait more than 11 hours when loading and unloading the truck
  • One in three drivers were not paid for hours spent waiting to load and unload.

‘Companies and the supply chain continue to pressure truckies through their economic power to meet unrealistic deadlines,’ Mr Garrett said.

‘These are mums and dads, brothers and sisters out on our roads just trying to make a living and put food on the table.’

‘When a truckies pay is linked to meeting a deadline, travelling a particular amount of kilometers or carrying a certain load weight, you have economic pressure – and that is what is pushing truckies to skip breaks, speed or delay maintenance.’

‘It is a real concern and why we need the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal setting Safe Rates for drivers and companies,’ Mr Garrett said.

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

‘Only through Safe Rates, and every truck crash being investigated as a workplace incident, will we see an improvement to road safety and a strong future for our road transport.’

For more information about Safe Rates visit www.saferates.org.au.

To view the Police Ministers’ statement regarding Operation Austrans, visit http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2014/6/11/crackdown-on-rogue-truck-drivers-boosts-road-safety.


Watch below the news stories regarding Operation Austrans and road safety:

Channel Nine News – 11 June 2014

Win New Toowoomba – 12 June 2014

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