The Transport Workers Union (TWU) and NRMA recently conducted a BusinessWise survey to determine the top issues amongst truck drivers. Over 320 truck drivers in New South Wales were involved in the survey.
Key concerns were found to be motorists pulling out in front of them and fatigue. Almost 40 percent of those surveyed listed motorists overtaking suddenly as their biggest concern, followed by vehicles increasing their speed just as overtaking opportunities arise (29%) and drivers not obeying road rules (10%).
Over two thirds of those surveyed also admitted to driving despite being tired, with over 75 per cent describing NSW rest stops as inadequate and scarce.
Almost 70 percent also said they want more education for the community to work together towards sharing the roads and the same number of drivers believe NSW roads are inadequate for carrying heavy vehicles, with almost two-thirds (60%) calling on governments to commit to widening roads.
Transport Workers’ Union of NSW Secretary Wayne Forno said, “Our members’ pay, conditions and safety are our number one priority. Our members are professional drivers and motorists can be confident of their skill and experience when driving alongside them. The problem starts when fatigue sets in due to economic pressure from large Clients to keep driving past their limits.
“What concerns me about these survey results is that over two thirds of truck drivers are driving when tired and over one third of those say pressure to meet delivery deadlines is forcing them to do it.
“Overworking and falling asleep at your desk won’t kill you: fall asleep behind the wheel of a fully loaded truck going down the freeway at 100km an hour and it’s a different story. That is why we are fighting for Safe Rates which mean fair pay and conditions for Australian truck drivers, less tired truck drivers on the road and safer roads for all of us.
“As another important step in NSW towards combating fatigue and providing a safe workplace on the road for our members we welcome the introduction of more rest areas where they count, with facilities that meet the needs of our members.”
NRMA President Wendy Machin added, “Everyday heavy vehicles and motorists drive along the same roads which all too often are not up to the safety standards that prevent crashes from occurring.
“The NRMA and TWU are both committed to the same cause – making sure our Members return safely to their families at night.
“To achieve this we must work towards improving the road network to cope with the volume of heavy vehicles and cars that drive on it, building more rest stop areas in key locations and providing more education to all motorists about sharing the road safely.
“The Government needs to invest more money into rest areas and listen to truck drivers when they say the facilities are inadequate and in short supply.”