Resources Minister John Bowler has welcomed the removal of fines for owners or operators of vehicles in the mining industry with exposed orange rooftop warning lights on gazetted roadways.
Mr Bowler said the decision would save mining industry employees time and money.
Intervention by his colleague, the Minister Assisting the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Tony McRae, had averted an otherwise major problem facing workers driving vehicles with flashing orange lights.
“Under current legislation, the orange warning lights must be removed when vehicles fitted with them are driven on roads,” Mr Bowler said.
“Any new vehicles would also need to have been fitted with a different style of retractable or removable light.”
A proposal to have the lights fitted with a cover highlighted serious safety concerns and Mr McRae said the breakthrough was a commonsense solution to a problem facing small businesses and major corporations alike, operating within the mining industry.
“The proposed compromise to fit covers could have resulted in serious occupational health and safety issues with larger vehicles, when employees needed to climb on to the roof of the vehicles to try to fit covers to the lights,” he said.
“In acknowledgement of the safety issue, exemptions from DPI will be granted to those vehicles which drive on the roads with the flashing light fitted but not in use and police will focus only on vehicles with the light in operation on gazetted roads.”
The Chamber of Minerals and Energy also welcomed the decision, with members having previously faced huge costs to comply with the laws.
Mr Bowler said common sense had prevailed.
“To the hundreds of mine sites and their thousands of vehicles and drivers, this could have been a major inconvenience and safety issue, as well as a huge cost not only financially, but in lost productivity,” he said.
Minister for Resources office: (08) 9222 9699