The following description was extracted from Without Trucks Australia Stops: the development of a viable, safe, sustainable and efficient road transport industry by Parliament of Australia:
The heavy vehicle sector is one of the most dangerous industries in Australia, with an average of 180 deaths per year and an increasing number of hospitalisations. Most of those impacted are truck drivers. These workplace injuries, traumas and deaths have immense social and economic impacts on drivers, their families, businesses and the general public. Compounding these safety issues are working conditions that mean road transport drivers are more likely to experience chronically poor physical and mental health. The sector experiences higher levels of suicide than the general population. The economic cost of road crashes alone equates to $27 billion per year. With the times we are currently living in, it cannot be overstated how important the industry is, and has been during the pandemic.
This inquiry has clearly demonstrated the need for immediate government intervention to change the operation, practice and, safety culture of an industry that the entire country relies on. Urgent proposals for reform put forward by submitters across all parts of the sector include a focus on making the industry sustainable, making training and safety the number one priority, and addressing the underlying causes of unsafe behaviour.
In order to make this happen the central recommendation of this committee, and the submitters, is for the establishment of a central powerful independent body to regulate, promote, fund and support all parts of the sector.