Source: Daily Liberal
DUBBO-raised truck driver Steve Corcoran is demanding danger money for truckies and the federal government is backing his call.
Mr Corcoran spoke to Fairfax Regional Mediayesterday while he was on his way to Canberra to see his petition of 3500 signatures be tabled in federal parliament next week.
Statistics showed there were 250 truck drivers who were killed on the road in Australia each year and the numbers were rising, he said.
“If it was 250 school teachers, doctors or police killed each year, there would be a public outcry, why are we any different?” he said.
“Enough is enough. Something must be done.”
Mr Corcoran began his 200-day journey to gather support after painfully dealing with 11 friends who were killed while driving a truck during the 20 years he had been in the industry.
While the petition had grown strong in numbers, he watched two close friends die in a head-on crash with another truck on the Bruce Highway.
This left him with a heavy emotional toll which included post-traumatic stress and anxiety.
“I want danger money of $100 a day in our awards as we have the most dangerous job in Australia,” he said.
“This is someone’s father, mother, brother who’s gone and we lose their experience to hand down to the young drivers. I don’t think it is an unreasonable price for safety.”
Mr Corcoran said one-in-three workplace deaths was that of a truck driver killed on a road.
In 2011, there were 214 truck drivers killed while in 2012 there were 268 deaths.
“Compared to any other industry it is a ratio of 30 truck drivers to one,” he said.
He believed people accepted the fact truck drivers died on the road and it was an uphill battle to change public perception.
“We don’t get any help,” he said.
“I think the attitude is get over it and keep working. I’m fed up and I want to see some action.”
Mr Corcoran said the cause of the high number of truck drivers killed on the road was the lack of attention from other motorists on the road who hit trucks.
Motorists had to understand the vital role truck drivers played in the community, transporting essential goods around the country and to respect them while driving.
Those who signed his petition demanding danger money and better conditions for truck drivers were shocked and surprised at the high rate of drivers killed on the job, he said.
“Their message was simple: something had to be done about it,” he said.
Mr Corcoran said whenever he drove he feared he would be killed on the road.
“It’s always on the back of my mind that I might be a statistic and I fear for my friends on the road,” he said.
“This petition is a victory for the drivers who were killed on the road so we can do something about it.”
PETITION: Dubbo-born truck driver, Steve Corcoran has petitioned the government for danger money.