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Aussie trucks are a deadly dilemma

Article image for Aussie trucks are a deadly dilemma

Yesterday’s double-fatality involving two trucks has sparked road safety debate over mounting pressures for truck drivers.

Testing the limits of their endurance, drivers can legally be behind the wheel for up to 14.5 hours a day. But that doesn’t take into consideration extra hours some drivers do when under pressure to fulfil contracts.

The number of fatal crashes involving trucks in NSW rose 45% from 2016 to 2017, from 56 fatalities to 81, but Chief of Staff at the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) Bill McKinley says they don’t know why this is happening.

“What I can say about this is we don’t know.

“That’s why the ATA is saying the Australian Transport Safety Bureau… should be responsible for investigating serious truck crashes and making safety recommendations.

“What we need are the expert investigators.

“That way we will have definite answers and we will know exactly what needs to be done.”

Listen to the full interview below

One caller told Chris he drives up to 75 hours a week, spending 15 hours a day in his truck.

“I’m getting about five hours sleep a night, and I can survive off that.”

Chris also speaks with National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union Tony Sheldon about the ongoing pressure truck drivers are facing in their line of work.

“Lives are being lost.

“We’re losing family member after family member around this country because of that pressure.

“Unfortunately our truck drivers want to go home to their families and want to be safe on the roads but the pressure is immense on the companies they work for, and on themselves.”

Click PLAY to hear the full interview

Chris Kenny