Chain of responsibility laws should incorporate roadworthiness of heavy vehicles, according to Minister Stephen Mullighan. The Minister wants trucks’ roadworthiness to form part of COR Laws to improve road safety following a number of incidents resulting from vehicles not being roadworthy.
Stephen Mullighan, The South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, speaking at the bi-annual Transport and Infrastructure Council Meeting of Commonwealth and State Ministers in Launceston called for national heavy vehicle roadworthiness to be prioritised.
Mullighan highlighted the recent incidents on the South Eastern Freeway and reminded attendees at the meeting of why stronger heavy vehicle compliance measures are necessary across Oz especially because of the number incidents that involved un-roadworthy trucks.
The Minister was quoted by PrimMoverMag.com.au as saying:
“Making sure interstate vehicles using South Australian roads are roadworthy is a high priority for the State Government,” Mullighan said. “We need a national approach to solving this problem.”
While Mullighan was highlighting the importance of national measures to improve heavy vehicle roadworthiness including better driver education and training as well as including roadworthiness in the chain of responsibility laws, the National Transport Commission (NTC) and National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) had already identified reforms that they will be releasing nationally soon.
Mullighan explained that the changes being made by the NTC and NHVR would coincide with changes already introduced by the South Australian state government.
Mullighan also stated:
“We are already moving to increase safety on the South Eastern Freeway,” said Mullighan, who added, “This is in addition to reforms over recent years including the installation of safety cameras at Crafers and near the Mount Osmond Overpass.”
As the government ruminate on whether or not to include heavy vehicle roadworthiness in chain of responsibility law, members of the road transport industry need to ensure that they are compliant both in terms of vehicle roadworthiness and compliance with chain of responsibility legislation.
While the truck driver does hold a lot of responsibility for ensuring the journey is a safe and incident free one, they are not solely responsible for truck safety which is part of the reason the Minister wants roadworthiness included in COR legislation.
Truckies should however remember that no matter how much pressure is placed on them by operators, customers or anyone in the supply chain, speeding, drink or drug driving, driving when fatigued, driving a load that exceeds load limitations and exceeding the maximum driving hours are not acceptable and whether or not you are pressured, these actions will not be tolerated by authorities, in other words truckies will be held responsible for their actions.
Companies need to ensure that everyone in their employ is aware of their responsibilities in terms of chain of responsibility legislation. In order for this to be achieved, everyone should receive the necessary Chain of Responsibility training, how else will they be aware of what is expected of them in terms of the law? That includes employees responsible for scheduling and rosters, loading and offloading of vehicles, consignors, consignees etc. and not the drivers alone.