The New South Wales trucking body ATANSW recently posted a Media Release in which it highlighted the plague of illegal drugs in the trucking industry.
The media release dated 24th February stated that there is no place for illegal drugs in the trucking industry.
The Australian Trucking Association’s NSW branch issued the call after a report emerged on Channel 9’s Current Affairs program showing footage of a truck driver allegedly taking ice, an illicit drug that speeds up the messages travelling between the brain and body. It is believed to be even more harmful that speed, which is the powder form of the drug.
The expose’ also featured an interview with an ex-truck driver who reportedly lost his licence for taking drugs and driving. The interviewed driver admitted in person during the interview that had taken drugs.
Drivers are being driven to extreme methods of staying awake and alert such as taken drugs because of unrealistic expectations placed on them by their employers and customers. According to the ATANSW chain of responsibility legislation must be used more aggressively to hold those accountable in the supply chain that force drivers into this type of behaviour.
ATANSW Manager Jodie Broadbent said in the media release,
“These individuals and this behaviour reflect poorly on the honest, hard-working and professional men and women in this industry,” ATANSW Manager Jodie Broadbent said.
The ATANSW Manager also noted that it wasn’t just truck drivers that are using drugs on the road. According to Victoria Police drugs are being commonly used by road users in general. She also highlighted that random drug and alcohol testing of workers was not enough to combat the scourge. She went on to state:
“Trucking operators have introduced drug and alcohol policies that cover random testing of their workforce, but more needs to be done,” Mrs Broadbent said.
“The chain of responsibility legislation in road law must be used by road authorities to prosecute those in the supply chain who don’t manage their businesses properly, or who push drivers to achieve impossible targets.
Mrs Broadbent also highlighted that the program on Channel 9 did not represent everyone in the trucking industry. She reiterated that members of The ATANSW are frustrated with being classified with these individuals who have drug addiction issues. The majority of people in the industry are “hard-working”, law-abiding members of society who are as against drugged drivers on the road as everyone else. Broadbent explains:
“This television report is not representative of the hard-working men and women who work in our industry. This person clearly has a drug addiction problem and while he needs help, we don’t want him on our roads, either in a car or a truck.
“Our members are sick of being lumped in with these individuals. These people go to work just like anyone else, they have the right to feel proud of the work they do.”
As Mrs Broadbent points out enforcement of Chain of Responsibility legislation is going to play a pivotal role in tackling the abuse of drugs in the trucking industry. Find out more about COR legislation here.