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

Gordon Campbell:
On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And
Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the Resource Management Act.

Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing, which happens to be another of the government’s most contentious, most ideologically-driven policy packages. Presumably, Key will be trying not to double down on the rhetoric, and thereby leave room for Labour leader Andrew Little to sound like the centrist voice of reason.

Key will have his work cut out, though. More>>

 

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Ian Apperley: $10m Or $100m For New Wellington Council IT System?

I feel a Tui Billboard coming on. I commented the other day that it looked like the Council’s Ninth big project was a potential $100 million plus... The Mayor has responded: “I am reassured by the Chief Executive and by Anthony Wilson that the proposed budget is in the region of $10 million.” More>>

ALSO:

Southern Ocean:
Navy Intercepts Illegal Fishing Vessels

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today put illegal fishing vessels operating in the Southern Ocean on notice and vowed to take action against their owners. “As part of a multi-agency operation, the HMNZS WELLINGTON has intercepted two vessels claiming to be flagged to Equatorial Guinea, fishing illegally in the Southern Ocean.” Mr McCully says. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news