No-blame safety investigations should be included in governance review

2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJanuary 28, 2019

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) says the National Road Safety Governance Review needs to consider the provision of independent, no blame safety investigations for road crashes involving heavy vehicles.

The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 211,500 people in the Australian trucking industry and is calling for the Australian Government to extend the role of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to include serious truck crashes where there are safety lessons to be learned.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack unveiled the review‘s terms of reference last week.

“The ATA welcomes the terms of reference and believes Mr McCormack has demonstrated a commitment to improving road safety outcomes,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said today.

“However, in addition to improving the road safety governance structure, we believe the review should include a focus on extending the role of the ATSB and addressing this institutional capacity gap.

“Road safety is everyone‘s responsibility and it‘s important to ensure no stone is left unturned in reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads,” he said.

The review process is the next step in implementing the recommendations of the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 Inquiry and will include consultations with all levels of government across Australia, parties in the transport space, the private sector and community, with a draft report released in March 2019.

“In a submission to the inquiry, the ATA set out 19 recommendations, including better roads and truck rest areas, fatigue law reform and better education for learner drivers about how they can share the road safely with trucks,” Maguire said.

“Until we reach a point where there are zero fatalities and injuries on our roads, the government needs to consider practical approaches to improving road safety, as we have recommended and include these in the review,” he said.