ATA Defends Trucking Industry against Drug Use Claims

ATA Defends Trucking Industry against Drug Use Claims

The ATA has defended the trucking industry’s safety record against police claims that drug use is rife. Last week the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency said drug use was rife in the trucking industry, with 140 drug driving offenders intercepted in May. The ATA’s chief executive Stuart St Clair said the use of illegal drugs in the trucking industry was totally unacceptable. “There is no place in our industry for cowboys any more and any driver caught using illegal drugs should face the full force of the law. Under the chain of responsibility laws, there are also significant penalties for trucking operators and customers who require or encourage their drivers to work while fatigued.” But Mr. St Clair stressed that the trucking industry was safer now than at any time in the past and was improving all the time. “The small number of truck drivers found using drugs needs to be seen in context,” he said. “The Australian trucking industry has 220,000 employees and its 524,000 trucks travel 15.9 billion kilometres per year. The fatal crash rate for articulated trucks has fallen 60 per cent since the early 1980s and in 2011 Australia recorded its lowest road toll since 1946.”

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