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.
 

September17th 2017 Latest Blog Post. Issuses.
Goodaye all. Got home yesterday and been busy since. Have raised the issues of personal use of heavy vehicles, (just submitted to NHVR and then posted my submission to Facebook to show I do actually participate and not simply ask others to do so) fatigue research needing participants, otherwise we will be stuck with rules made, policed and overseen by others who do not have to live by them and asked people to contribute to the update of the National Road Safety Strategy.
I put bits up on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and now am including same here. It is very hard to get truckies to participate, many do not learn of the need for comments till too late, if at all and many still even ask me, why do I bother when nothing has changed for years. I do understand their cynicism, we have not solved the industries problems yet and better men than I have tried. Yet if we all expect someone else to solve our problems, then we are doomed to continue to suffer from them.
The closing date for submissions for the personal use is the 30th September and I first saw it perhaps a week ago, but how many others drivers even knew? Such things should be in industry press the month previous to get good responces, otherwise we might become cynical and say it was put out with the aim of not really giving us the chance to contribute. Sacre Bleu!
Last week I was approached by a driver who had his window smashed at Moree and I followed this up with Owner Driver who have since ran an online story (and any affected, please at the very least ring the Police so the issue can be pursued, if you donít then no one will know the full extent of the problem) and the week end prior, attended the AGM of the National Road Freighters Association at the Kenworth plant in Bayswater.
We had expected more to attend being at the plant and including a tour of the factory, but times are tough and it is a long way and huge cost, let alone the time off work for anyone north or west of Victoria. Kenworth welcomed us and I cannot thank them enough for their professionalism and support. The factory tour does show you the effort they go into and whilst we no longer make cars here, we do trucks for our market very well. The TIV K200 owned by Rod Pilon Transport is now over 1.3 million kilometres and still looks and operates well, surely a testament to a terrific product. Yes I will sing their praises and hope they will support the next TIV, if I donít recognise those who help and support me with the TIV, they will not see the value in that support.
Next week I will follow up with the fatigue research. Any who are interested please check out the NTC website so you have an idea of what it is all about. Yes again, I will be asking for others to participate, but I have all ready put many hours into this on the phone and will continue to push for a result that recognises our issues and needs. Some think the results are already decided and the rules will be changed against us, so the only way to make sure we get heard, is to take part. Please share these issues, discuss them with other drivers, as only one voice, I simply cannot do it alone.
I welcome those who read this and hope to show that most truckies do have more than just the aim, of earning a dollar. There was another media hatchet job on all of us, yet none of us wants the idiots who bring us all done, on the road either, but how do we achieve that? When you find out, please let me know. 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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