Rockhampton transport boss driving change for industry
BRYAN Smith wants to change the perception that the general community have of truck drivers in Australia, but says the media doesn't make it easy.
He is the CEO and co-owner of Rocky's Own Transport, which started with just four trucks 27 years ago and has now grown to operate 137 trucks.
The 52-year-old said he recently spoke about how he wants to see the industry shift in a more positive direction at the Australian Trucking Association Conference.
"I talked about the safety, the image and the industry, improved safety standards in the transport industry is a passion for me, I'm always looking for ways to improve safety within our business," Bryan told The Morning Bulletin.
But his real concern was the negative light in which truck drivers seem to be portrayed.
"It's a little known fact but approximately 230 people die a year as a result of heavy vehicle accidents," he said.
"But we work in a unique industry, our workplace is on the public roads and everyone, myself included, do know that there is a small percentage of drivers who behave badly, but the vast majority of the industry are striving to do the right thing and to set a positive example."
Bryan said the media seemed to go after the trucking industry, without telling the whole story.
He used a recent truck crash that made front page news because the truck had ended up smashing through the front of a house as an example.
"What was printed weeks later, in a much smaller article mid-way through the paper, was the cause of the accident was that the truck driver had been forced to take evasive action in order to avoid another dangerous driver who had crossed onto the truck's side of the road," he said.
"The media act like a mirror, they generally provide society what they think society wants.
"For example, if the general community have a poor perception of the transport industry that's what the media will give them."