By Rod Hannifey
 

 

Introduction
I first became involved in road safety nearly ten years ago now, following one of those days on the road, when you really wonder where people get their licenses, out of Weet Bix packets or do they simply not care about their lives or those of anyone else? After sleeping for the night at Narrabri and only being on the road 15 minutes and not even up to highway speed, I and the car behind me, were overtaken by another car with two unrestrained children in the back with an approaching b-double heading towards us less than 200 metres away. Both b-doubles went off the road onto the shoulder to allow the stupid motorist to safely get through.

Later that same day being fully loaded and coming down off a hill onto a narrow bridge, I flashed the oncoming F250 Ford as if to say, “Back off just a bit and I will be off the bridge before you come on”. No way. This bloke kept coming and we met before I came off the bridge and to this day, I believe I missed that vehicle and the bridge posts by millimetres. Had he just lifted his foot off the accelerator for less than 30 seconds, I would have been clear and the possibility of a crash would have been completely avoided.

All drivers and truckies particularly, can regale you with horror stories of crashes and near misses, most of which need not have happened, nor the risk have even occurred, had the motorist simply respected the size and weight of the larger truck. This is not about might is right, it is simple physics. As a pedestrian, you would not step out in front of a bus and simply expect it to stop because you are there. And yet everyday, car drivers who have perhaps not been taught to share the road with trucks, will pull directly out in front of a fully loaded semi or b-double and expect them to stop dead.

If through the information on these pages, one of these crashes or lives lost can be prevented, then my efforts will have been worthwhile. I make no claims to be perfect, we are all (at least supposedly) human, but not all drivers are equal and some have simply been taught to pass a test, not to spend the rest of their lives on the road, let alone to share those roads with large trucks. Fatal crashes between cars and trucks are over 70% the fault of the car driver according to crash statistics. This only confirms to me that we do need better education of car drivers about sharing the road with trucks. There is no doubt that truckies have to earn the respect their vehicles deserve and do their part to improve road safety as well.


 

 


Efforts So Far

In the last ten years I have contributed to road safety inquiries, written submissions to government, industry and other inquiries and responded to requests for information or comments, along with writing for Owner Driver magazine since 2001, for Caravan World for 8 years until 2008, Caravan and Motorhome Magazine for 4 months and done weekly, monthly and informal interviews on ABC and commercial radio stations, including most of the truckies radio programs that we had in the past.

TRUCKRIGHT Industry VehicleI’ve completed a Graduate Certificate in Road Safety, won a Queensland Road Safety Award for the Blue Reflector Marking of Informal Truck Bays (and now 9 years on since the first were put up as a trial, still trying to get other states after Queensland and now finally NSW, to adopt this simple, cheap and effective road safety initiative). I won the NATROAD Driver of the Year in 2000, the Australian Trucking Association National Professional Driver of the Year in 2001 and the John (William) Bond, Safe Driver of the Year in 2004.

In 2008 I launched the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle which has its own section on this website and I am very happy with the efforts and achievements of this project so far, but as with all things, it can do more with the right amount of support. My CV is attached here elsewhere as a more complete listing and I would welcome emails both in support or otherwise of any of the information on the site, and towards further improvements in road safety. Thanks and Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

March 2014 Update
Goodaye all. The TIV K200 is now well up over 500,000 kilometres and is nearly complete from my point of view. It has taken over two years to get all the little bits and pieces done whilst trying to work fulltime and do all the extra things I try to participate in and contribute to. We had to replace a turbo recently, though this is the first since about 150,000 k and whilst it had only shown one fault code then, it was replaced during a DPF repair and I was told there nothing wrong with the one they removed.
The starter motor was also replaced at 510,000k whilst stuck in Tramanco’s yard in Brisbane (sorry to Tony for making him late for his holiday week-end) when we were doing suspension testing and memory download from the INS-COM road reading software. The data is very promising and one of the things I have asked NHVR to consider for the future, is a national road standard that will allow anyone to know what the standard is and to be able to lodge a complaint where a road does not meet that standard. It is hard to get some authorities to act when they simply do not understand how savage and severe some of these impacts from road irregularities can be, in a truck. Click Here to read more.

 
May 2017 Updated Caravan Survey
To all caravan and motorhome drivers, please take the time to email me your thoughts from the 2017 caravan survey.
 
June 2017 Audiobooks For The Road
I have started a facebook page to provide reviews of books I read, sometimes up to 3 a week and to seek your comments and reviews as well. I was recently invited to be a judge for audiobook of the year and want to let people know of the entertainment you can get on long trips from audiobooks. Click Here to read more.
Links to the ABC interview and Sydney Morning Herald article.
 

October 15th 2017 Latest Blog Post. TRUCK that Australia 1
Goodaye all. Last Sunday night we launched TRUCK That Australia, so please view the Whiteline TV videos' below.
The way we see the world and interact, is changing and how we get our news and get our information is too. It is our aim to offer a short regular update, on what is affecting us on the road, to seek comments and contributions to industry issues from those on the road and to help where we can to ensure those views and issues are acted upon, where possible. I have been trying for years to get roads fixed, car drivers educated and rest areas improved, to see what we do for the Australian public recognised and to see us given some respect by those we serve, be they a road authority or customer, but it is a big and probably lifelong challenge.
It has also been a horror week for crashes and none of us goes to work to be involved in such an event, but unfortunately, some are. Facebook covered some of these events and there are always different thoughts, some simply don’t want tragic photos and links listed, for reasons of privacy and some say, get over it, it is the news.
Of course if it is you or your family involved, then you don’t want it across the world and you would not welcome someone blaming your partner for such an incident, long before the truth is able to be confirmed. Those who will make such accusations, blame a driver or offer views would most likely scream blue murder if it was done to them and some may be educated views, some may be complete crap, but how do you or they know? From such deliberate and malicious comments, people and families who are already hurting and in shock and even those not so directly involved or afflicted, can be terribly punished and maligned, by those words and actions.
From my view, the worst part is the intent to destroy or damage people who these trolls, do not even know, but would not be happy if it was done to them. I still tell my children and grandchildren if they are squabbling and the comments get nasty, “What do you say?”, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” and if only more agreed and lived by it.
Where does that leave us? Open to abuse and conviction on social media, by those who see themselves as better or simply, removed from the damage and harm they do, when you may have done nothing more wrong, than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you are guilty or at fault, it will come out and those who are guilty surely deserve punishment under law. which except for road transport law, is to my understanding, to treat you as innocent until proven guilty.
The world is a scary place and the only certainty is change. I see a Mr Buffet in the USA is investing in a major truckstop chain and when asked, said he thinks there will still be truck drivers for awhile yet, so maybe many of us will be able to live out our current driving lives on the road and autonomous trucks may be a bit further away. One comment I did read from a driver was that if the majority of car/ truck fatals are the fault of the car driver, then make the cars autonomous and get rid of the idiots in them who try to kill us and leave the trucks alone.
The other side of that is if we cannot get roads fixed now, then where are the billions of dollars going to come from, to make our roads suitable for autonomous trucks? How will we as drivers get better and fairer laws to do our job safely? And with the carnage this week, what do you think will happen. Will we all simply be blitzed yet again, or will someone somewhere, actually look at the real problem instead of a blitz today and a band aid next week?
TRUCK That will not solve any of this, today or tomorrow, but it might help you stay in the loop a little bit more. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey. Click Here to read more.

 
 
 
August 21st 2017 Latest Podcast
 
 
   

The Site has been split into two parts, the TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle and Road Safety.

The TRUCKRIGHT Industry Vehicle (TIV) section covers the aims and efforts of this initiative towards improving how the road transport industry is seen by the public and how to improve the lot of truckies on the road.

Road Safety has all the flyers and road safety tips for all drivers, car, truck etc and will aim to improve road safety for all road users through better education and understanding.

 
 
 
 
 

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