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Horror month in trucking accidents renews calls for change

Horror month in trucking accidents renews calls for change


It’s time the Government woke up to the reality and stress of truck driving after a horror month for truck-related accidents, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says.

At least four people have died and a number of others have been injured in truck-related accidents since the beginning of March.

“While we don’t know the causes of the accidents yet, we do know the Government continues to ignore Labour’s calls for a review of the industry.

“We know that truck drivers are allowed to work up to 13 hours a day, but many work much longer than that because the pay isn’t up to scratch and they need to make a living.

“We also know that pressures are often put on drivers to breach time and speeding rules, yet the number of chain of responsibility prosecutions - where those who make the demands on drivers to break those rules are held accountable - are falling.

“While there are many good trucking firms in New Zealand, who take care of their drivers and train and pay them properly, there are some who don’t and they are the killers on our roads.

“Contracting arrangements where drivers are on the margins and have few rights are still a problem. Drivers will take risks, work long hours, cut back on maintenance, and driver faster than they should, all because they have to make a living.

“We owe it to the families of those who have been killed or injured in truck-related accidents to do better than this.

“Labour wants to see a review of remuneration and contracting practices in the industry and will work constructively with the Government and the industry if they are prepared to have an honest look at the industry.

“The numbers of deaths and injuries are not improving and like other dangerous industries in New Zealand, we need to work together to do something about it.”

Ends

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