The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) has called for major changes to the guidelines for building truck rest areas.
The calls come after it was revealed in an Austroads report that basic services such as access to toilets, lighting and water have been classified as ‘desirable’, and not a requirement.
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“Our roads and rest areas are a driver’s workplace and we have little chance of resolving fatigue if drivers are not provided with basic human rights to get the job done,” – ATA CEO Ben Maguire.
“Access to toilets, lighting and water are a basic human right, yet the highest proposed truck rest area classifications only list these as desirable,”
“These amenities are a requirement. No other workplace would compromise on these facilities, so why should drivers have to?”
In its response to the report, the ATA has made a number of recommendations:
- Governments should provide truck rest areas every 20 kilometres, allowing drivers to comply with work diary rules
- There should be no general and caravan parking in the truck section of any rest area, and this must be enforced
- Specific engagement of women drivers should be undertaken on the provision of toilet facilities at rest area locations, and on whether these should be unisex or gender specific, and
- Guidelines must prevent road agencies from temporarily closing rest areas to store roadworks materials.
“The Austroads report does not go far enough to acknowledge the need to treat heavy vehicle operators with respect, nor the important link these basic amenities have on the safety and wellbeing of drivers.”
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