New guidelines say exhausted food delivery riders are expected to meet ‘unrealistic’ deadlines

The NSW government has released new guidelines designed to better protect food delivery riders after a spate of deaths on Sydney roads last year. 

A total of five delivery riders from multiple companies were killed on the job late last year across Australia, including four in Sydney. 

The draft guidelines call on delivery companies to respond to safety concerns putting delivery riders at risk of injury. 

These include the “time pressures” created by “unrealistic estimated delivery times” and concerns over “fatigue due to physical exertion’’.

Other risks identified include delivery riders using “poorly maintained and unsafe bicycles” and engaging in “unsafe riding” practices in order to protect their ratings on platforms.  

The guidelines ask delivery companies to consider apps calculate delivery times using average rider speeds and local traffic conditions .

They also call for apps to lock out delivery riders after 12 hours to prevent them working excessive hours and to ensure a minimum 10-hour period between shifts. 

NSW Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said the guidelines addressed the safety concerns being raised in the rapidly growing sector.

“We know these food delivery riders are some of our most vulnerable road users,” Mr Constance said.

“We want to do everything we can to guarantee they have the proper protections in place and ensure a day at work doesn’t end in tragedy.”

The draft guidelines were developed by the Gig Economy Joint Taskforce, which was established in November last year to investigate a spate of food delivery fatalities.

Two men working for Uber Eats died after collisions in late September. 

Another death occurred after a crash in November at Rockdale in Sydney’s south.

A fourth man died after being hit by a truck in Redfern in November.