The Liberal Nationals support the transport industry’s push for an increase in the licensing standards for heavy vehicle drivers, following the weekend’s report in The Age.

In 2018, an Austroads review of the National Heavy Vehicle Driver Competency Framework revealed a number of inadequacies.

The review identified that the standard of training and assessment is often inadequate, with some drivers obtaining a heavy vehicle licence after undertaking training that ran for less than one day. The review recommended that minimum training lengths, including behind the wheel time, be established with stronger regulator input to training content.

Phase two of the project is currently nearing completion, with a number of key findings and recommendations already having been made.

Whilst nothing can reverse the lasting physical and psychological impacts of previous heavy vehicle collisions, it is important that the Victorian Government listens to what industry experts say is required to make a lasting improvement.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Road Safety and the TAC, Brad Battin:

“Collisions involving heavy vehicles have devastating effects for all involved and underscore the need for improved licensing standards.

“Anything that can be done to improve the testing standards and competency of heavy vehicle drivers – and therefore the safety of all other road users – must be done.

“The State Government should listen to the recommendations of Austroads, the Victorian Transport Association and other industry and user groups to save lives in the future.”

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, Roma Britnell:

“Over the past month we have seen just how important our trucking industry is, but we need to make sure that everyone who gets behind the wheel is as safe and competent as possible.

“The industry is calling for reform and trucking operators across the state have been saying it is a major issue for some time.

“The industry has been calling for improvements to driver training which will give other motorists the confidence that drivers of heavy vehicles have the appropriate skills.”