Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder briefed on Shepparton region's spate of truck crashes.By Darren Linton
Victorian Roads Minister Terry Mulder concedes heavy vehicle fatigue laws may need to be reviewed in the wake of a spike in truck crashes.
There have been a dozen truck crashes on the region’s roads since September 1, but Mr Mulder said he had been told there was no single explanation for the incidents.
‘‘If we ever have a spike in a particular type of accident, there is always an analysis of the information to try and work out what is the cause of it,’’ Mr Mulder said yesterday.
‘‘If there is a particular cause, then it is dealt with as an infrastructure change, or speed limits or whatever.
‘‘That work is ongoing and what I do know is there is no single cause of the recent crashes on the Hume Fwy.
‘‘I know some of those have had tragic consequences and have been very disruptive, but VicRoads .
Mr Mulder, who has his own heavy vehicle licence, said in more than 50 per cent of crashes the cause was not the heavy vehicle driver.
Mr Mulder accepted anecdotal evidence from truck drivers the national fatigue management system often forced them to rest when they were not tired and continue driving when they needed a break.
‘‘I don’t dispute outright what the drivers are saying,’’ Mr Mulder said.
‘‘If it is not working, if it is causing a problem, then that needs to be looked at again.’’
The minister also raised his own concerns about the logbook regime, which he said took no account of the driver’s condition at the start of a shift.
He said recovery from illness, disturbed sleep the night before and a range of other factors could affect a driver.
‘‘It is something that I’ve always been concerned about and I have raised concerns about that issue at a national level,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m not 100 per cent convinced that the current arrangements give us the best possible outcome.
‘‘I believe we need to have another look at it.’’
State Member for Benalla Bill Sykes said an investigation was warranted.
‘‘The recent spate of truck accidents and fatalities has highlighted an ongoing problem of accidents on seemingly good sections of road,’’ Dr Sykes said.
‘‘The starting point should be a review of existing data and identifying risk factors of which fatigue, boredom and driver inexperience are commonly suggested factors.’’
Artist Nici Cumpston will hold a free Artist Talk at Shepparton Art Museum tonight, speaking about her body of work based around the Shepparton region.
It’s been a long journey for Tim Roadley but his dream of creating a multi-sport endurance event on the Murray River is now going to be a reality.
It was a big day for Jye McNeil on Sunday, not only celebrating his 19th birthday, but riding a double at the Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club’s meeting, including the big one, the Vraca and Varapodio Italian Plate (1600 m), on the Gerald Egan-trained Jetconi.
Echuca Football Club has signed Joel Magnabosco and Kane Morris for next season.
On Friday Rochester’s St Joseph’s Primary School opened a time capsule which was buried in the 1980s.
Waste collection in Campaspe Shire will change for two weeks during the festive season.
Valley Park Farms' egg production facility is expected to increase production and staff after a $100 000 Victorian Government grant.
Murchison’s Jane Spencer’s first exhibition It Just Dawned On Me will be on show in Shepparton in the first half of next year.
Lisa Milligan has started a new dog grooming business in Heathcote to help fund her Wild ABout Wildlife centre in Kilmore.
Police allege a man attempted to rob a Cobram supermarket today.
Federal Member for Farrer Sussan Ley says plans are in the works on how to get natural gas to Deniliquin.
New Transport Accident Commission research has revealed why some young country drivers habitually take risks on regional roads.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and Country Fire Authority will be performing planned burns in Goomalibee on Monday.
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