Goodaye all, another week on the road. I did get a call from a mate who rang and complained about a pothole under the Jerilderie camera. He was given not only an undertaking that it would be fixed, but that the person would contact the Safe-t-cam people and ask them not to issue any fines for those who tried to avoid the pothole and then ran foul of the camera. Had he not rang, many may have got camera fines, but it doesn’t always work that way. Let’s hope it went the way it should have. Well done Chris.
Another contact through a Facebook friend request, who complained about Victorian roads, when asked were they aware of the number and had they called, tells me they have and have had no action. This is why I am still asking for a national road standard, so we know what is deemed acceptable, we can contribute to that standard, not simply have car drivers think we are whinging and we can then hold the road authorities to account.
Then once we report a section of road, depending on the traffic volumes and when the next maintenance is due, it should be fixed within a specified time, dependant on how bad and the above factors. Serious failures and large potholes etc, should simply be left till next time the crew is out that way. A car could hit it and swerve into the path of a truck, a motorcyclist could be thrown well off the road from some of them and whilst you can look and should also be watching the road and driving to conditions, it is hard to see in the dark and round corners. Lives should not be at risk for any longer than is absolutely necessary, to get the problem fixed.
I read at one stage that truckies in the USA were aiming to charge the road authorities for damage caused to their trucks by some of their roads, but have not seen it get up and no surprise, imagine if it did and then maybe we could follow. We are required to be compliant, meet very high standards and be under intense scrutiny, yet I still think that we are not getting good value for the money spent on roads.
What good is it to have two or more people sit in cars at both ends of roadworks all day and tell trucks there is roadwork ahead? Yes, there have been idiots who have slammed into parked vehicles, but if their radio is down or off, then what will them being there change? Some of those do not even speak clearly enough to be understood and I have suggested that on the radio, both politely and with the aim to help, yet why are we paying them for this if they don’t care enough to even be understood. Surely there is a better and cheaper way to do it, instead of having people bored stupid sitting in a car all day calling us up. More money to pay people for little value.
Roads cost a lot, we must get good value, not simply supply large profits to million dollar companies to do a lousy job and then when it fails, pay again. Someone must be responsible for the work, the value and the life of the road, or we will simply continue to pay for something and get little value for it.
On a very positive note, I must congratulate the Tasmanian Trucking association of r getting actual, not implied, intended or promised, support for a Tasmanian Truck Rest Area Strategy, something I would very much like to see done nationally. There are obvious factors that have seen this get up, a lack of through traffic which swells truck numbers needing rest areas, a concerted effort by the association not only in pushing the case, but putting out a document few could realistically argue against and someone in government prepared to put their neck out and support it.
With many towns bypassed over the last few years as the highways were improved and then also more and more wire rope barriers taking away shoulders and spots that could be used, even if not the best or safest spots and of course then, not formally signed and or recognised by the authorities.
But they have agreement and a plan for some immediate and some longer term improvements and I would hope when all done, that at least one state will have enough suitable and sufficient truck rest areas for all those who need them. Their report which is 122 pages long, does say they were way behind and failed to meet all previous requirements for the number and spacing of truck rest areas and I hope this can be used as a guide on how to see things improved. Well done all involved. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.