Killer trucks

The Australian

Tuesday 17 December 2002
MANY deaths and injuries on our roads are caused by truck drivers.

Some truckies have just held a blockade in the NSW town of Goulburn, claiming they are being forced to drive illegally, for long hours, often on drugs, to meet the demands of their employers. This is utter nonsense. No one is forced to break the law. Each driver has decided to break the law for commercial gain.

The penalties around Australia for falsifying or not keeping an accurate log-book are at most $164 and no demerit points. And many companies pay the fines on behalf of their drivers.

Yet in some states, it's $220 and three demerit points for travelling in a bus-lane and $200 and two demerit points for playing loud music, where nobody's safety is compromised.

Deliberately driving while fatigued is equally as lethal as high-range speeding, which can attract penalties exceeding $2,000 and automatic loss of licence for 6 months.

It's time to get serious about this behaviour and amend these ridiculous anomalies.

Tough penalties, demerit points and loss of licence will get these killers off our roads and allow those truck drivers who obey the law to earn a decent living.

Harold Scruby

Pedestrian Council of Australia