As we celebrate the 13th annual national Transport Month COPE:
• Welcomes Rob Fisher and Linda Kuun from Truckers Voice as members of COPE; and
• Questions why there is still no coherent plan by government to give effect to the Department of Transport’s 2005 National Freight Logistics Strategy to develop and maintain Truck Stops to ensure road safety in the road freight industry.
As far back as 2005 the need to establish well maintained Truck Stops with the necessary infrastructure and services in order to tackle the crisis of road safety in the road freight industry in a partnership between government, employers, unions and NGO’s was identified as an imperative in the National Freight Logistics Strategy launched by the Department of Transport
Yet some 13 years later there still appears to be no coherent approach by government to give effect to this policy.
The development and maintenance of safe and secure Truck Stops would not only ensure Driver and road safety in the road freight industry but also contribute to economic growth and job creation:
1. ROAD SAFETY BY PREVENTING DRIVER FATIGUE THROUGH SAFE TRUCK STOPS
With 100 000 freight drivers commuting our roads on a daily basis, there is a dire need to improve security at truck stops. This translates into drivers making use of facilities thereby reducing driver fatigue, protecting bread winners of families as well as all road users. Road accidents take lives. A tired driver who has nowhere safe to stop puts everyone at risk. The onus is on Government to offer facilities to allow drivers to return safely to their families, a right, not a privilege.
2. SAFE TRUCK STOPS SECURE THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY
Truck drivers carry goods needed for our economy to function. Trucks are vulnerable to attacks and theft at many existing truck stops due to poor security. Road accidents involving trucks impact many sectors such as, retail, construction, manufacturing and insurance sectors. Accidents caused by trucks can disrupt commuters for hours and fatalities are not uncommon. Offering incentives to truck stop owners to improve security is synonymous with ensuring safety for all road users and the protection of the economy. The costs of truck stops are largely carried by private individuals or businesses which limits the expenditure required to offer adequate security. Incentives are essential to encourage improved services as well as new entrepreneurs as it is the Government’s responsibility to aid in the security of the economy of the country and its citizens.
3. SAFE AND ADEQUATE TRUCK STOPS WOULD AID IN JOB CREATION
Following the Job Summit, it cannot be overlooked that establishing security and improved facilities at truck stops would without a doubt create jobs in every province. As security improves, so will the patronage of such venues, rolling over into supply meeting the demand. With the encouragement of Government, truck stop improvements will create jobs in a variety of sectors, including but not limited to the food, cleaning, construction and security sectors.
Issued by Pakes Dikgetsi,
COPE National Chairperson
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