8th March 2020

Goodaye all. A short week-end last week and a big week on the road this week. A spot on ABC Overnights Wednesday morning with Trevor Chappell about road rules went well with many callers and I have suggested a spot on rest areas for the future.

Calls back from TMR and RMS re the alignment of roadside signs that blind us with our own lights because they are incorrectly placed. Both will be doing some fixing, thanks, but many others wrongly aligned and need to be fixed.

A call back from Vicroads on two issues and I have just emailed a detailed outline of the issues and hope to get a reply soon.

I did contact both TMR and RMS re green reflector marking of informal bays, nothing from TMR yet and RMS have issued new guidelines which speak of a state wide rollout. This would be a major improvement and would immediately help fill some gaps for us. We still need many more rest areas and spaces, but this could be a good step forward.

Comments from drivers, others ringing with issues and seeking help still coming from “Nightshift” listeners is all good and emails from others who read my column in Owner Driver keep me busy. I can’t always help, but will do my best to do so where and when I can.
How do we get other drivers involved? Only one call to anyone might get a response, but 5 callers will do more and 20 will see action, more often than not. Yet many drivers want things fixed, changed or improved, but won’t make one call or send one email. Our HVNL review, the Senate Inquiry and all the previous industry calls for contributions and comment, went largely unnoticed with few responses. So, when those asking see that, it is more likely they will then simply say, no one cares, we will just do whatever we think best. Unfortunately, more often than not, it is their view that gets used to change things, we get shafted and then everyone complains about the change or lack thereof.

I would like to think the associations were there more for the drivers, yes I could say without drivers, there would be no transport business, but in many ways that applies to each of the myriad other roles, that come together in transport. We just happen to be the most at risk, responsible for all on the road, accountable to everyone else and yet, still mostly unrepresented in most industry forums and groups. We tried the drivers club and many had said they would join, some did, but that was all they did and it of course failed. I will keep trying, but it is hard and lonely doing it mostly on your own. Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.

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