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ATA recommends no-blame safety investigations be included in Governance Review

The National Road Safety Governance Review, according to the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), should consider the provision of independent, no-blame safety investigations for road crashes involving heavy vehicles.

As a representative of 50,000 businesses and 211,500 people in the Australian trucking industry, the ATA is calling for the Australian Government to extend the role of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) to include serious truck crashes where there are safety lessons to be learned.

The review’s terms of reference were unveiled this week by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack.

“The ATA welcomes the terms of reference and believes Mr McCormack has demonstrated a commitment to improving road safety outcomes,” said ATA CEO Ben Maguire.

“However, in addition to improving the road safety governance structure, we believe the review should include a focus on extending the role of the ATSB and addressing this institutional capacity gap,” he said.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and it’s important to ensure no stone is left unturned in reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads.”

The review process is regarded as the next step in implementing the recommendations of the National Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 Inquiry and will include consultations with all levels of government across Australia, parties in the transport space, the private sector and community.

A draft report is expected to be released in March 2019.

As part of its submission to the inquiry, Maguire confirmed the ATA set out 19 recommendations, including better roads and truck rest areas, fatigue law reform and better education for learner drivers about how they can share the road safely with trucks.

“Until we reach a point where there are zero fatalities and injuries on our roads, the government needs to consider practical approaches to improving road safety, as we have recommended and include these in the review,” he said.

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