The new inclusive culture, espoused by leadership in Transport for NSW and the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) in recent times, seems to be finally filtering down to the roadside in face to face dealings with truckies. The new culture seems to be taking the sting out of an ongoing issue, namely, the issuing of defects by roadside enforcement officers during checks.
“Members have told me that Inspectors at Marulan, in particular, have been taking the time to talk to operators and specify exactly why a defect has been issued,” said Emma Higginson, Executive Director of the Livestock and Bulk Carriers Association. “This greatly assists operators by not having to play a guessing game when they get back to the depot, visit a mechanic etc. and importantly allows them to get back on the road sooner.
“It is also very pleasing from a culture perspective. The simple process of taking the time to explain why enforcement action has been taken goes a long way to increasing respect between both parties and provides greater assistance to the operator on what to look out for going forward.”
Changes like this are long overdue. Operator complaints about the opaque defect notices system and the difficulty in getting those defects cleared is a continuing issue in all of the states. Perhaps this glimmer of light will help oil the wheels on both sides of the divide and lead to a more civilised conversation on the roadside.
Nobody wants a row with the authorities and they are only doing their job, but it has been the arrogant and inflexible attitude of some roadside enforcement which has turned up the wick on conflict. Let’s hope this is not just a short term improvement, but a real change in culture which can lead to a more co-operative attitude, on both sides, when trucks are pulled in for inspection at checking stations like Marulan.