ATA calls for patience during bushfire emergency

THE Australian Trucking Association is urging industry customers and truck drivers to remain patient and safe as New South Wales and Queensland brace for a horror day of bushfires tomorrow.

"Parts of New South Wales and Queensland are currently in the midst of a state of emergency as they battle out of control bushfires, with tomorrow's conditions predicted to be catastrophic," ATA chief executive officer Ben Maguire said.  

"It is crucial truck drivers travelling through the bushfire-affected areas follow the instructions of emergency services, traffic crews or road closures to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

"It is also important that industry customers are mindful of this situation and exercise patience if deliveries are delayed.

"It is a serious offence for a customer to cause or encourage a truck driver or business to breach the fatigue rules or speed to avoid late deliveries."

Mr Maguire said those travelling through bushfire-affected areas should make sure they have checked the latest weather conditions, bushfire alerts and traffic information, and ensure they carry an emergency survival kit with plenty of water.

The NSW Transport Management Centre has advised that drivers should be prepared for conditions in the bushfire-affected areas to change quickly, and to phone 131 700 to report an incident and their whereabouts or to seek non-emergency assistance.

Those requiring emergency assistance should phone Triple Zero.

NSW Police have advised operators to plan alternative routes, have counter-measures in place for perishable and live freight and implement fire protection measures for on-road staff, as well as parking, hydration and general safety protocols.

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