Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Stronger law needed to address truck accidents & fatalities

May 21, 2013

Stronger law needed to address truck accidents and fatalities

The truck drivers’ union says dangerous work practices are embedded in the heavy vehicle industry and much stronger laws are needed to protect drivers.

Yesterday’s death and serious injury from the logging truck crash near Tolaga Bay comes as Australia and New Zealand police commence the annual Operation Austrans – targeting heavy vehicle road safety issues including fatigue, speed and use of stimulants.

New Zealand needed to consider Australia’s recent law change to stop truck drivers having pay systems that incentivised dangerous practice, said Karl Andersen, Transport & Logistics Secretary for FIRST Union.

“Our heavy vehicle industry is structured in a way that encourages unsafe practices. Many truck drivers are owner-operators and their margins are constantly squeezed, leading to drivers taking short cuts, running bald tires, breaking driver regulations, and in some cases using stimulants to get through. Fatigue is a very real issue for many drivers.”

Australia’s road safety law is much stronger that the chain of responsibility provisions in New Zealand law, Karl Andersen said.

“Last year Australia brought in a new law to try and stamp out remuneration-related incentives for truck drivers to work in an unsafe manner, and ensure that hirers of drivers and participants in the supply chain take responsibility for maintaining the new standards.”

“Drivers work very long hours and face significant disruption to their family time. They shouldn’t also have to work in an unsafe environment and put themselves and others at risk.”

“Last year the government said new laws were not needed. It’s time they reconsidered their stance,” Karl Andersen said.

Background:

1. Comments from (then) Associate Transport Minister Simon Bridges that there was no need for a law change are here. They featured in a side box to this Fairfax story, on June 21, 2012. (Dominion Post, page C4).

2. Australia’s Road Safety Remuneration Act 2012 came into effect on July 1 2012.

The object of the Act is to promote safety and fairness in the road transport industry by:

a) ensuring that road transport drivers do not have remuneration related incentives to work in an unsafe manner;
b) removing remuneration related incentives, pressures and practices that contribute to unsafe work practices;
c) ensuring that road transport drivers are paid for their work, including loading or unloading their vehicles or waiting for someone else to load or unload their vehicles;
d) developing and applying reasonable and enforceable standards throughout the road transport industry supply chain to ensure the safety of road transport drivers;
e) ensuring that hirers of road transport drivers and participants in the supply chain take responsibility for implementing and maintaining those standards;
f) facilitating access to dispute resolution procedures relating to remuneration and related conditions for road transport drivers.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news