Truckstops should be 'driver fatigue management centres'
AS THESE very tense times in Australia, the life line of the country depends on a system that can keep functioning.
As it has been recognised, the freight forwarding services are and always will be an essential service to the country.
Because of this fact, the NHVR and Governments have put in place strict Laws regarding the movement of freight through the road network.
These are the fatigue laws set as part of the Heavy Vehicle NATIONAL Law. (HVNL).
As much of the immediate freight task is by road transport, these laws relate to Fatigue Regulated Heavy Vehicles. (FRHV)
It has been noted in the past few days that many truckstops have closed down their facilities, such as dining rooms, showers, toilets and in some cases, their kitchens.
As it a known fact, fatigue management does include the following:
Using the toilet.
Eating a healthy diet/meals.
While the CEO's of the major fuel companies sit back and make these decisions to close these amenities at truckstops due to public health issues, what they have done is prevented truck drivers to access these services.
I am calling on the Australian Federal Government to work with the industrial bodies and get these facilities reopened.
I am calling for ALL major truckstops to be recognised as "Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Management Centers", and to be brought under the Chain of Responsibility as a support network for FRHV.
By introducing this reform, it will then ensure that the drivers of FRHVs will be able to access the facilities during such times as we are seeing now.
By denying truck drivers of their basic human rights by closing down truckstops, showers and eating area's, they are forcing them to live like they are in a third world country.
My suggestion to help come to a quick solution is this.
Emergency laws made to establish truckstops be brought under HVNL, and COR, forcing them to open truck driver amenities.
Reopen eating area's for truck drivers, with a restricted number of tables per area of space available.
A limited menu.
Time restrictions on showers. (15 to 20 mins).
That these facilities are provided for truck drivers only. NO PUBLIC ACCESS.
By doing this will ensure that truck drivers are given the opportunity to comply with HVNL and be treated with dignity and respect, while respecting their basic human rights.
I implore you to help truck drivers to keep this country going, because if the transport system fails, so do we as a nation.
Please help us find a solution and give us a chance to do our job with dignity and respect.