The Victorian Police are urging all drivers and operators to report dodgy behaviour related to chain of responsibility breaches committed by customers.
VicPol is calling on the industry to “be brave” and come forward if their customers are breaching CoR laws.
Victorian Police want the trucking industry to have the courage to report customers who may be pressurizing them to break the law for example placing unrealistic deadlines on drivers which cause them to break fatigue laws.
In an article on Fullyloaded.com.au Detective Inspector Bernie Rankin, who heads up the Heavy Vehicle Unit within VicPol explained that there is obviously some caution from the industry when it comes to reporting their customers. He states:
“We’ve often received information about that type of breach but it’s very difficult to get drivers and transport companies to actually come forward and make a statement and provide us with the precise details that we need to mount a prosecution,” Detective Inspector Bernie Rankin, who heads up the Heavy Vehicle Unit within VicPol.
“It’s all very well to anecdotally report something but we need a lot better than that … and if drivers in the industry and companies in the industry know of distribution centres, of customers putting a regime on drivers that is not sustainable, then they need to tell us. But of course there is a reluctance within industry to do that.”
Despite the industry’s disinclination to report their customers, there have already been 4 distribution centres that were issued with improvement notices in the 12 months to February this year. This was in addition to another 70 notices being issued to transport companies.
Inspector Rankin went on to explain:
“We’ve actually visited a large number of distribution centres,”
“We do get a lot of anecdotal information that that the drivers are parking too long and that the service they receive from distribution centres is not up to scratch, and we’re aware that’s a vexed issue within the transport industry.”
According to Vic Police, they have a personnel count of 25 officers authorised to do chain of responsibility investigations within the Heavy Vehicle Unit but have never had any prosecutions of customers under CoR, mostly due to the reluctance of drivers and operators to report their customers.
In addition to drivers and operators being afraid to give evidence against their customers, effectiveness of the alternative improvement notices, problems with CoR legislation and a need for better investigative capability within the unit are also factors which have hampered the prosecution of customers.
Under CoR legislation everyone involved in the supply chain including customers and schedulers are responsible for enhancing road safety. Cor Training ensures that all employees are aware of their responsibilities, click here for more information.