Truckies taking speed to stay in work

A report by the NSW Department of Health says that one in five truck drivers use illicit drugs in order to stay awake and complete sometimes impossible deadlines. In response, the NSW Minister for Health John Hatzistergos has announced the State Government will set up a task force to combat the issue, a move which has been welcomed by the Transport Workers Union. Spokesperson Michael Kaine says transport clients are to blame for the high rates of drug use, because they place unfair pressure on drivers to drive dangerously long shifts. And with 67 people dieing on New South Wales roads this year due to heavy vehicle accidents, it’s an issue affecting all drivers. A former long haul truck driver, who wished only to be identified as Bob, spoke to The Wire’s Ashlee Betteridge about the pressures that forced him to take speed and lie in his driving log books.

Broadcast on 2SERFM Sydney 107.3 and The Wire, national community radio current affairs program. September 25, 2006.

Listen to Truckies (4 min 45 sec)