Truckers back assault on driver fatigue

By Nerida Blok

Kyogle truck driver Ray McGettigan supports State Government moves to tackle fatigue in the long-haul trucking industry.

Driving for Mills Transport for eight years, Mr McGettigan said the proposed new industry regulations released yesterday, which aim to ensure retailers do not set unreasonable deadlines for truck driver deliveries, was a good thing for the industry.

"It's a very good thing," he said.

"Some big companies expect you to leave Sydney by five in the afternoon and be in Brisbane by seven the next morning ? it's impossible."

Consignors and consignees with more than 200 employees in retailing, wholesaling and transport industries would also have to make sure they did not impose unreasonable deadlines for freight deliveries, NSW Commerce Minister John Della Bosca said.

They would also have to confirm that drivers had a fatigue management plan.

"For the first time in NSW, the draft regulation will place a duty on carriers, as well as employers, to eliminate or control the risk of driver fatigue," Mr Della Bosca said in a statement.

The draft Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (Long Distance Truck Driver Fatigue) Regulation 2004 would allow WorkCover to investigate whether trip schedules, driver rosters or loading schedules had contributed to incidents involving long haul trucks.

NSW Transport Workers' Union secretary Tony Sheldon said the new law could make a real difference to the health and safety of truck drivers and other road users.



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