Goodaye all. Next week is National Road Safety Week and I will straight up ask any who can, to share our videos from www.sharetheroad.net.au I have a number of radio interviews planned and have sent emails to many other press contacts from over the last few years. I will pursue other local and national media as well. Thank you to those in our media press and industry associations who have helped share them. We do appreciate it. To those who haven’t, I must ask why not?
Stephen McCarthy cameraman and editor, Jessica Ferrari producer and Nicole Rutledge and myself, all worked together to produce the videos and they all want the same as I do. To have people see them and gain some knowledge not normally available to those who only drive cars or bikes. As a truckie, I drive cars as well and some young learners will have been in a truck if in a trucking family, but many will never have the chance.
These videos aim to offer a truckies view to help other drivers understand the actions of truck drivers. Learning after making a mistake, could cost you your life and will also then affect any others involved, be they passengers or the truckie who simply could not avoid hitting you, after you have made a mistake. We all know young drivers think they are ten foot tall and bulletproof, (like we all were) and it will never happen to them. Those who do suffer such an event, may get away with a scare, or they may never get another chance to learn.
We would like to see these videos widely distributed, used by clubs and groups and we will pursue the road authorities to include them in driver license testing, all with one aim, to try and do our bit to make the roads safer for all. The videos are available and free to all and we thank the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator (NHVR) for the funding to produce them and make them available at no cost to any who can use them.
There will be many other events and parts of road safety week. If you do nothing else to be a part of it, please consider how you drive on the road. Do you see it as a privilege that you have earned by learning the rules and passing the test? Or do you see it as a right? If so, why? None of us “owns” the road. The road is provided by governments to allow us the mobility we all crave today. Yet the road is the workplace of truckies and other drivers who live and work on the road. It may not be recognised as such under the law as yet, but please consider what it is like to “live” on the road.
Away from home most of the time, away from family and friends, those you love. Not a normal lifestyle where you can plan to be at a family event, under the watchful eye of not just every other road user, but the authorities too. And unfortunately, most of those who make the rules we operate under, do not have to live under those rules themselves and are more than happy to tell us how and when to do it, without any clue what it is like to live in a truck.
Too few rest areas, little shade, even fewer toilets and even less for women truckies, and no parking when the holiday season is on. As has just happened over Easter with many truck spots at service centres, often the only place we can access toilets and meals and showers, and even in designated truck parking areas or truckstops, taken by the holidaying public with little thought to all the food and fuel they use, being delivered by the same trucks they are denying basic facilities to.
Not all truckies are perfect, I certainly am not, but I do try hard to do my best, be compliant with the law, share the road with others and to get home safely each trip. It is true, trucks are bigger and if you are smaller as in any physical encounter, the bigger thing will do more damage to the smaller thing, you in your car. Might is not right, whether you are a car ignoring a motorbike, a bigger 4wd ignoring a car or a truck doing it. Yet if you recognise and respect the size and weight of trucks (remember we carry everything you use in your life), then you will improve road safety for all. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.