Tunnel experts warn Premier Daniel Andrews on East West Link
East West Link battle justifies need for non-partisan body on infrastructure
Melbourne Airport Drive extension opened
Atlas 5 sets sail to orbit
Melbourne's first double-decker bus ready to rumble when Regional Rail Link opens
$500m Abrams tanks in the wars
Woman trapped under bus in Sydney's CBD dies
We're still going to miss the bus
Linking Melbourne Authority to be kept despite having no roads to build
Burgers in a rooftop train carriage? Easey's burger joint to open in Collingwood
Truck drivers are getting licences with only a few hours of experience behind the wheel of a heavy vehicle, prompting the Andrews government to consider a dramatic shake-up in a bid to improve road safety.
After a week of fatal collisions on Melbourne’s roads – and a spike in the number of truck crashes nationwide – The Sunday Age can reveal the state government is examining an industry-led push to improve what some describe as “dismal” training standards in Victoria.
On Wednesday night, in one of the worst collisions yet, four Victorian Police officers were killed when a semi-trailer drove into the emergency lane where they were impounding a Porsche, whose driver had allegedly been speeding on the Eastern Freeway.
Crash investigators at the scene the day after four police were struck and killed by a truck on the Eastern Freeway. CREDIT:AAP
Under the current system, anyone who has an Australian car licence for two years can upgrade to drive a loaded heavy rigid truck, which can weigh up to 22.5 tonnes, after only a few hours of training. Within a year they would then be eligible to drive a loaded semi-trailer, which can weigh up to 42.5 tonnes, if they passed another quick test.
Transport bosses – who are pushing for a minimum five-day course – say Victoria’s graduated licensing system is based on “time served” rather than skills behind the wheel.
But without serious reform, they argue, the road toll will continue to climb and the state will suffer ongoing driver shortages because employers are increasingly reluctant to hire people without the necessary experience.
“It’s an easy qualification because all you have to do is pay about $1000 for five hours of your time,” said Victorian Transport Authority chief executive Peter Anderson, who is heading a ministerial committee review into the issue.
“The industry is asking the government to acknowledge the fact that we want to see drivers properly trained before they get a licence. You should know what you’re doing before you get into a truck.”
Figures from the federal department of transport show in the 12 months to December last year, 188 people died from 173 fatal crashes involving heavy vehicle trucks – an increase of more than 27 per cent from the year before.
This article first appeared on www.theage.com.au
About this website
Railpage version 3.10.0.0037
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. The comments are property of their posters, all the rest is © 2003-2020 Interactive Omnimedia Pty Ltd.
You can syndicate our news using one of the RSS feeds.