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Submissions for Primary Duties for Chain of Responsibility Parties and Executive Officer Liability - Discussion Paper

Rod Hannifey

7 Aug 2015

I would like to raise three issues toward COR in general, both with consideration of the submission request and the future.

1. I do believe that COR is a good idea and there is genuine intent, both from lawmakers and much of the road transport industry, to see it work. However, on the road, it is still a theory, in that it is the driver who is hit first and hardest. They are the ones swinging at the end of this "chain".

Until customers are aware of COR and or dragged into this chain, the driver is the one left trying to satisfy all parties, but in the line for all sorts of penalties and where, many of the delays and problems are not of their doing and for which, they are most often, not responsible. Until there is a requirement for distribution centres to pay demurrage after one hour, trucks will be stuck there for hours with no pay and little recourse.

2. It is well and good to say that others will be made responsible for putting a driver in a position where he will be encouraged or made to break the law, but how does the driver prove that? No one will sign a document committing themselves to this, but they will still say to the driver, be there or don't come back.

And how do you then deal with two or three separate customers, where each holds you up for an hour, thereby meaning you miss a load, or later that night, have to decide which you can afford to do legally, have a decent meal, or have a shower, or get another hours sleep, because living on our highways with the current lack of rest areas and the current lack of flexibility available with log books and the fines that go with not complying, are maikng the job harder and harder to do.

3. I have read recently where there is futher consideration of linking COR with OH&S penalties. Currently a minor fatigue breach, which can start at 1 minute over (minor is up to 45 minutes) subject to the whims of the on road officer, can get a driver a $4000 maximum court fine. My understanding is that this could increase to $10,000 under OH&S. Can you please explain to me how a driver can be put in this position for being 10 minutes over time getting to the one decent rest area or a place where he will get a decent feed and where he cannot control the 100 different things, that impact and effect that? If COR is behind this, then it is against the driver and not against any one else at all. Thank you, Rod Hannifey.

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