Privacy Laws to be Amended to Allow Reporting of Dangerous Truck Driver Offences to their Bosses

The South Australian Minister for Transport has announced the development of new draft regulations that will allow SAPOL to report truck drivers driving dangerously or under the influence of drink or drugs to their bosses.

Minister Mullighan explained that current privacy provision laws have prevented SAPOL at the moment from alerting trucking bosses about wrongful behaviour of their drivers, but by rewriting current regulations this will no longer be the case.

The announcement is seen as a major win for the trucking industry which has campaigned for many years for this provision. The new regulations will especially help companies better identify the very small percentage of truck drivers that are safety risks.

It should be emphasised again how small a percentage of unsafe truck are actively engaged in the profession. In the recent 2014 Operation AUSTRANS, a multi-jurisdictional enforcement operation between Australia and New Zealand to target road safety issues amongst the heavy vehicle road transport sector including fatigue, speed and drug use, reported a very low offence rate. For example out of 28,868 alcotests administered, only 21 drink driving offences were detected (or just 1/14th of a percentage point).