More rest areas and improved facilities are urgently needed on Australia’s roads, the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) said today.
The ATA represents the 50,000 businesses and 200,000 people in the Australian trucking industry.
In this election campaign, the ATA is calling for new, more frequent and better rest areas that meet the needs of the trucking industry.
“Truck drivers must meet legal fatigue requirements and make use of truck rest areas to meet their obligations. This is not optional,” ATA CEO Ben Maguire said.
“Our roads and rest areas are a driver’s workplace, so it’s critical they are provided with appropriate facilities to ensure a safe journey.
“There are not enough rest areas on our roads and many are in shocking condition,” he said.
Mr Maguire said too many rest areas do not even include basic amenities like toilets, lights, water and shade.
“It’s simply not good enough,” he said.
The ATA has today released social media videos with the Shadow Assistant Minister for Road Safety Glenn Sterle, Liberal Senator Jim Molan and Centre Alliance Senate candidate Skye Kakoschke-Moore about their views on the need for improved and more frequent heavy vehicle rest areas.
“The next government needs to listen and take action,” Mr Maguire said.
Centre Alliance Senate Candidate Skye Kakoschke-Moore said all politicians should take heed, and that decisions shouldn’t be made for people, but with people.
“What are you supposed to do if you’re in the middle of nowhere and the rest stop is not accessible because it’s full or has been washed out? Real-life examples really need to be fed back into the policy makers,” she said.
Senator Glenn Sterle said he would, if Labor was elected, take action.
“I can guarantee you; part of my responsibility will be to have a connection with the trucking industry so we all have a voice in Canberra,” he said.
Senator Jim Molan said he can already see government investment in truck rest area projects.
“Spending is occurring on projects to both improve safety for sleeping and productivity for decoupling and parking,” he said.
Mr Maguire said while there has been boosted investment recently, there still needs to be more.