Industry News

Is this Australia’s most dangerous freight route?

National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) chair Paul Fellows has called for improved driver licencing standards, as talks about the dangers of this major freight route heat up.

Fellows says that during the NatRoad Industry Forum in Mount Gambier earlier this month, the Eyre Highway was widely spoken about as being Australia’s most dangerous road freight route.

“The tragic death of three truck drivers in a smash near Yalata on April 4 focused national attention on the Eyre, and I won’t speculate on the cause which is a matter for the South Australian Coroner,” he said in message to NatRoad members.

The 1200km road, which links Western Australia to the rest of the country, has been carrying an enormous volume of freight since floods temporarily closed the Trans-Australian Railway line in March.

“There have been reports of some operators being offered lucrative sums to haul loads and meet urgent deadlines with some new and inexperienced drivers suddenly finding themselves behind the wheel,” he added.

“While the rail line has re-opened and the backlog is subsiding, the behaviour of some inexperienced drivers is a problem that isn’t going away. One of my own guys had a brush with death recently and I’ve heard similar stories from others.”

According to Fellows, an urgent industry conversation about driver competency is necessary.

“NatRoad has been calling for a move to national and improved standards for years. Time spent on a particular class of licence should no longer be the determinant of progression, and drivers coming from other countries should have to meet our standards.

“With the driver shortage continuing to bite, now is the time for regulators to stop navel-gazing and act – urgently.”

Fellows has called on road users to report dangerous driver behaviour to the Heavy Vehicle Confidential Reporting Line on 1800 931 785.  “Calling police is an option if there’s a risk to life,” he said.

“Dobbing may not sit comfortably with some, but it could be your life or that of a friend or workmate that you save.“


The post Is this Australia’s most dangerous freight route? appeared first on Big Rigs.

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