Australian government reforms trucker pay, detention time

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 3/27/2012

Under a new set of road safety rules in Australia, truck drivers will be paid reasonably for their work including time spent at the loading docks. The goal of the new law is to reform the system that allows shippers and others in the supply chain to pressure drivers into breaking speed and fatigue laws to meet deadlines.

The law, which passed both the Australian House and Senate this month, allows a new tribunal to set compensation for truckers including detention pay. The panel, known as the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, starts work July 1 on a new process to hold the entire supply chain accountable for road safety.

“Truck drivers should not have to speed, overload their trucks, drive excessive hours or cut back on vehicle maintenance just to make a decent living,” the Australian Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport stated on its website.

U.S. researcher and author Michael Belzer traveled to Australia last November to testify in favor of the bill. He told “Land Line Now” that the new law ensures that everyone in the supply chain accepts responsibility and penalties when pressure placed on a driver results in a truck crash.

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