Friday, April 30, 2010

Linfox Founder Calls For Tachographs In Australian Trucks

Great Safety Improvements Made, But More to be Done
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – Speaking at the 2010 Australian Trucking Convention earlier in the month, road freight legend and founder of one of Australia’s biggest transport companies, Lindsay Fox, called for the industry to embrace the use of new technology, especially ‘black box’ tachographs, to ensure the safety of truck drivers.

Mr. Fox stated that though the efforts made by the trucking industry on safety issues in the last fifty years were remarkable, much more could be done. "We’re coming to realise that to minimise the deaths on the highway we need to work on safety, courteous driving habits and having responsible people in the industry,” he said.

Mr. Fox added that the road freight industry needed to use the example of the aviation industry as a guide to future safety improvements.

“In the aviation industry they have zero tolerance, so everything has to be precise and exact, because at 33,000 feet it’s a hell of a long fall.

“The trucking industry can learn from the aviation industry’s use of black box technology. That technology tells you everything about the engines, the speed, the height and anything that might happen prior to an accident.

“Then, after an accident has taken place, the black box is recovered and they can find out the whole format of what happened, so that the issue doesn’t reoccur.”

He also pointed out that: “In Europe, 15 per cent of truck accidents are single vehicle accidents, in Australia it’s 50 per cent.

“What is it that causes that? Well if you’ve been in the business as long as I have, and a driver tells you that he had to run off the road because another truck was coming head on, you know he’s gone to sleep.

“In Europe, all new trucks must have black boxes. In trucks made in Europe and shipped to Australia, they remove the boxes. That needs to change.”

(pic: Lindsay Fox)