Truckies “Forced To Break Law”


Truck drivers are being “forced to break the law to make a living.”

The Rail and Maritime Transport Union says that road safety will always be compromised with low pay and contracting arrangement.

RMTU General Secretary Wayne Butson today supported having a parliamentary enquiry into trucking safety.

Labour MP Darien Fenton has called for the enquiry after a Sunday Star-Times report highlighted pressures that owner-drivers face, with low pay leading to long hours, speeding and fatigue.

The rail union secretary says its members also hear horror stories about long working hours leading to compromised safety conditions on the road.

“Most truck drivers in New Zealand are owner-drivers, and although their business arrangements are that of self employed, they are entirely dependent for their income on the big logistics firms, where they have no real bargaining power over their remuneration.”

“ This leads to all the unsafe practises that yesterday’s article highlighted, such as disregarding maintenance requirements, being on the road for longer than is allowed and skipping on breaks.”




  1. Geoff says:

    They have always broken the law, and until a GPS based monitoring system is installed in every last truck, they always will.

    One example is Linfox, who run a truck from Auckland to Napier and back for Countdown to deliver surpermarket products, and they do it in one shift including loading and unloading at each end. The from home to home the driver is on the road for about 16 hours and the same driver can make the same run on consecutive days.

    The government held an inquiry into truck safety back in 1996, and it concluded with a number of recommendations including that trucks be fitted with under ride protection, and that bull bars be banned. To this day the industry has not complied. I would rather see that earlier inquiry followed up than to start a new one.

  2. Jeremy Harris says:

    Do you have a link to that study Geoff..?

  3. Bryan says:

    Increase the “god squad” and target the trucks.Prosecute the traucking companies NOT the driver.When it hits them in the pocket they will back down


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