Jun 2013

Letter to the Editor - Halt removal of 'black box' from truck imports

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Dear Editor,

It is to our great dismay that a very important motion on road transport safety that Katter’s Australian Party put to the House of Representatives was not debated before the rising of the 43rd Parliament.

We had called for Australia to join international heavy vehicle road transport safety standards by halting the removal of so-called 'black box' technology from imported trucks.

Our motion demanded that the Federal Government implement the fitting of 'black boxes' in all road transport heavy vehicles in Australia, excluding livestock haulage.

Australia's old-fashioned, second-rate 'log book' system to combat fatigue-related accidents has simply placed burdensome bureaucratic conditions on drivers - who themselves admit to finding loopholes so as not to break the law - whilst failing to significantly improve road safety.

In Europe, where it is mandatory to have this superior technology in all trucks, only 15 per cent of their drivers run off the road due to fatigue - whereas the figure in Australia is as high as 50 per cent.

So despite the implementation of the log-book system to combat fatigue-related accidents, we still have fatigue to blame for half of all truck drivers who run off the road.

Meanwhile, this 'black box' technology has reduced accidents by more than 30 per cent in Europe - minimising not just the human tragedy but also the economic impacts of fatal road accidents.

Yet in Australia, they remove this 'black box' technology from imported trucks.

Whilst the opportunity to put this before the 43rd Parliament has expired, we remain optimistic that future governments will see the logic in such a simple proposal that would have significant impacts on human lives and safety.

Hon Bob Katter MP,
KAP Federal Leader and Member for Kennedy

Contact Details

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Innisfail, Qld 4860

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