TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 24 March 2017
Two truck drivers have been killed in a horrific truck crash in Sydney’s south highlighting the deadly nature of the job and the need for a solution to the crisis in trucking.
The incident involved a head-on collision between two heavy vehicles at Wilton early this morning, according to police reports.
“There is a crisis in trucking which the Government is choosing to ignore. The Federal Government’s own reports show a system of safe rates, which allows investigation into financial pressures on drivers and transport operators, would cut truck crashes by 28%,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
Each year wealthy retailers and manufacturers cut their transport costs, putting pressure on transport companies and drivers. This forces transport operators and drivers to delay maintenance speed, drive long hours, skip mandatory breaks and overload their vehicles.
“My thoughts are with the families and friends left devastated by this tragedy which has to be fully investigated. Truck driving is becoming more dangerous: last year one out of every three workers killed was a transport worker, according to Safe Work Australia. We know drivers are under too much pressure yet the Government is turning away from dealing with this problem. This Government is opposed to this solution and as a result it is families and the wider community which are bearing the brunt,” Sheldon added.
Deaths from truck crashes are increasing. The end of last year showed a 6.2% jump in deaths from rigid vehicles crashes and a 1.6% jump in deaths from crashes involving articulated vehicles, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.
In the 10 years to 2014 over 2,500 truck drivers and other road users died in truck crashes.