Heavy vehicle road toll – let’s focus on the upcoming transport safety law overhaul

Casualties involving heavy vehicles have been much in the press over summer. Truck driving is a hazardous occupation and in the 21st Century it ought not to be.

Every heavy vehicle casualty has a terrible impact on those who are directly affected by it and the community at large. It is right that any rise in the road-toll should stimulate debate and inquiry about what steps can be taken to address the toll. The causes of heavy vehicle accidents are complex and certainly not always the fault of the driver or the transport operator.

And the policy tools are already in place to address the heavy vehicle toll. Broadly speaking two regulatory responses have already been deployed.

The previous federal Labor government introduced the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. The idea behind the Tribunal was that truck drivers should be properly remunerated (at rates set by the Tribunal) so as to eliminate any incentive to speed and drive while fatigued.

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