OPINION: Shock safety remarks miss the point

A truck near Macalister.   Photo Derek Barry / Surat Basin News
A truck near Macalister. Photo Derek Barry / Surat Basin News Derek Barry

THE NSW Road Minister's 'shocking' comment about electrified fatigue devices for truckies, made drivers' hair stand on end.

However flippant the statement, miss-timed or not, it highlighted the vast divide between the politicians of the day and the reality a driver faces on the road.

I struggle to name another profession in a first world country where it would be suggested an employee use an electric stimulant to stay awake.

Or one that had resulted in as many deaths or injuries of those who had taken it on board as a chosen profession, outside of policing and military personnel.

But electricity puns aside, the Minister's comments and response to the crisis on our roads reveal another issue - that technology and further regulation of the trucking industry seems to be one of the first responses to this problem, according to those in power.

Minister Pavey herself noted a majority of accidents involving trucks were caused by other vehicles, yet called for the burden of technology to be placed on truckies.

In an open letter to the PM, Toll Group's Michael Byrne listed six priority points to improve safety, yet only one of these points addressed the responsibility of those behind the wheel of a car.

While no one is expecting a silver bullet, surely the truck drivers of Australia deserve more than zaps and red tape.

Topics:  big rigs editor editorial fatigue devices melinda pavey nsw road minister opinion

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