NatRoad: Transport companies need to know driver indiscretions

Australia’s largest road transport association has called on the National Transport Commission (NTC) to ensure that transport operators are notified of their drivers’ traffic offences and histories.

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) said yesterday it was vital that “something as basic” as notification to transport companies about traffic offences committed and the licence status of their drivers was necessary in order to keep illegal or dangerous operators off the roads.

The association has long advocated for its member companies’ right to know of legal and regulatory issues relating to the handling of their trucks, citing safety and fairness, as managements face more and heavier regulation and responsibility.

NatRoad Chief Executive Officer Warren Clark yesterday said it was vital the “mishmash” of state and territory laws be made simpler and better focused.

“Something as basic as NatRoad members getting notified of offences that have been committed whilst drivers are driving their vehicles must be on the reform agenda,” Mr Clark said.

“We are in the middle of a review of the Heavy Vehicle National Law … (and) there will be strengthened duties for drivers to be fit for work, which includes them having a valid licence.

“Operators need to know if their drivers have few or no points to ensure that they are legally capable of driving a heavy vehicle.

“It’s as simple as operators have a responsibility to prevent or minimise potential injury, danger or loss by ensuring their transport activities are safe.

“That means being told where a driver might have breached the road rules so that the possibility of the driver driving whilst unlicensed is eliminated.”

Mr Clark said Queensland was already leading the way to adopt such reforms and called for them to be implemented throughout the country.

“The Queensland Government is building a system where operators are automatically notified of driver offences,” he said. “A similar system should be applied across Australia.”

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