Safer roads require national leadership: ALC

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has fully endorsed the six-point national heavy vehicle safety plan Michael Byrne, Managing Director of Toll Group, proposed in his recent letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“The proposals contained in the plan are entirely consistent with longstanding ALC policy, and offer a clear pathway to delivering improved road safety, not only for heavy vehicles, but for all road users,” said Michael Kilgariff, Managing Director, ALC.

“As an industry leader on freight and supply chain policy issues, ALC has continually emphasised that our supply chains do not stop at state borders. Accordingly, regulations which govern heavy vehicles and freight movement need to be nationally consistent, to promote supply chain efficiency and safety, and to provide certainty for industry.”

Kilgariff called for the Federal Government to immediately pursue discussions with the governments of Western Australia and the Northern Territory to encourage them to sign up to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL). “In a modern national economy, it is not feasible to have inconsistent rules in different states pertaining to the definition of a heavy vehicle, speed limits and regulation of driver’s working hours and mandatory rest times,” he said.

“The Federal Government should also immediately pursue a national operator licensing system, which ALC strongly supports as essential to improving road safety and making certain the nation’s heavy vehicle fleet is operated by competent professionals who understand their safety obligations.”

Kilgariff also welcomed Byrne’s call for mandatory use of telematics. “Industry has consistently told governments that mandating the use of telematics in heavy vehicles is central to driving better safety outcomes and saving lives on our roads,” he said. “Now is the time for decision-makers to heed that advice.”

The ALC’s 2018–19 Commonwealth Budget submission recommended that the Federal Government support measures that encourage the capture and use of technology and data, which is in line with Byrne’s own suggestions.

Kilgariff also praised Byrne’s proposal of discounted registration fees for transport operators that can demonstrate they are investing in telematics, as well as campaigns to improve driver awareness about sharing the road with heavy vehicles.

“Our industry stands ready to work with all governments to enhance heavy vehicle safety,” said Kilgariff. “They should take the opportunity to harness that goodwill and work with transport operators in the interests of saving lives and enhancing safety for all road users.”