This paper examines structural factors that influence the safety performance of the Australian trucking industry. It argues that more needs to be done by industry to improve its commitment to effective self-regulation.

Regulatory reform has had a significant impact on the efficiency and productivity of the industry. However, improvements in safety still lag. Data on the safety performance of the industry is examined and it is argued that traditional enforcement techniques have reached their limit in terms of impact on safety.

Further improvements in safety standards demand that industry and regulators respond to safety as a much broader work related matter and not simply a matter of on-road compliance. This requires firms to adopt a more systemic approach to safety, which integrates aspects of accreditation programs into daily business practice.

The available research evidence demonstrates that accreditation programs improve the safety performance of trucking firms and more needs to be done by industry associations and government to promote their take-up across the trucking sector.