International guidelines focus on safety

4 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineDecember 12, 2019

The Australian Trucking Association has welcomed the release of new global road safety guidelines that highlight the importance of upholding strong safety standards, fair payments for small businesses, improving truck rest areas, driver training and road safety. 

The guidelines were released following the United Nations International Labour Organization‘s expert meeting in Geneva in September that ATA chair Geoff Crouch attended, representing Australian and New Zealand truck and bus businesses. 

Crouch joined experts from around the world to develop the code of practice and guidelines on best practices in road transport safety. 

“It was an honour to be invited and hosted as a guest of the ILO,” Crouch said. 

“Road transport is critical to the economy both in Australia and globally, but we lose far too many people to road crashes. We need more action to improve safety on Australia‘s roads. Globally, road fatalities are the eighth leading cause of death. These guidelines, if adopted globally, will save lives,” he said. 

Crouch said the guidelines recognised significant safety, professionalism, and viability priorities for the industry. 

“Safe working practices, fair payment terms for small business, improving driver training and industry diversity are all significant local priorities that are reflected in the guidelines. I was delighted with the need for good quality truck rest areas to also be reflected,” he said. 

ATA CEO Ben Maguire congratulated Crouch for his participation in the meeting and his input in influencing global legislation. 

“This is our national trucking association at its finest,” Maguire said. “This has strengthened the ATA‘s formal consultative relationship with all levels of government in not only Australia, but on a global scale.” 

Maguire said the ILO expert meeting was a unique opportunity for the ATA to represent the Australian trucking industry and positively contribute to the development of important safety guidelines. 

“Geoff‘s participation in the forum highlights his commitment to the trucking industry, representing the best interests of Australians on this international platform,” he said. 

Crouch commended the triparted approach of guideline development, and the high level of standard that was implemented during the process. 

“The experience of participating in the expert meeting followed by the guideline development was a fascinating process and provided many learnings that could be implemented in the way we develop legislation here in Australia,” Crouch said. 

“Having government, operators, regulators and other industry members all come together in the same room provided an invaluable collaborative opportunity.”

Crouch said not every clause will be applicable to Australia, but the guidelines reflect a number of the ATA‘s priorities and in some nations would represent big gains for road safety.  

The guidelines are not binding on Australia and are not automatically implemented.