26th May 2019 HVNL Review Paper 1.

rod n truck

Goodaye all. I have just spent another two hours (total now over 7 hours) completing my submission to the first of 8 papers for the HVNL review and then reading the 9 current submissions. It is amazing to me that of those 9 submissions, 4 are similarly worded and more about bicycles and their problems, yet not one of them suggests anything about teaching cycle riders to share the road with the trucks.

There is one truck driver submission, (now two when mine is accepted), two councils with Dubbos withheld from publication, one based on insurance and one industry association, with submissions due to close on the 31st May. Who is affected most by these laws? The drivers. Why are they not submitting in large numbers, how to improve this law for their own good and safety?

How many have looked at the first document, seen 70 pages and gone, “I haven’t got the time for this”? Many have contributed comments to the microsite and this is a good idea and a chance to make a comment, yet how many have made a comment, but not contributed a submission and why? Such comments may be valuable, but need the info to back them up. Saying “It is no good” of the logbook or that anything else is no good, will not in itself, see anything change. You must explain what you want and at least try to show how to fix it.

I have asked other drivers to look, spoken on radio and mentioned the review here and if this is the first of 8 papers for review and submissions, I can only hope the others are more driver friendly and that specific issues may get more input. If not, what will change and how many will complain after that “they” did not fix anything?

Even if you don’t read the 70 pages, but contribute a submission that shows and explains an example of what you see as the biggest problem with the current law, that would help. The people doing the review don’t live on the road and don’t know the problems, let alone the solutions. They need real examples to show what the problems are, to be able to find and or consider a solution that will work. In the USA when I was there for my Churchill Fellowship trip, the FMCSA called for submissions about the driving hours there and received 5,500 responses, including one from me. That review is due to be announced next month and there are good indications there will be change that is wanted by most. They contributed and got heard and will get an improvement.

We cannot expect any improvement if we don’t offer input and we will not get any if only two drivers make the effort. Ask your drivers, ask a mate who drives do they even know of the current review and will they contribute. I doubt we will ever get another chance to be able to see real change in my life on the road. My submission alone, will do bugger all, but if 100 drivers made the effort to explain just one thing that they see as the biggest problem and offered and example of why, then we may just get something worthwhile from all this. Please consider doing something, even if only about one issue and please, ask your mates to do the same. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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