Goodaye all. I was made aware through email, having done my Graduate Certificate in Road Safety through them, of a CARRSQ webinar on Rural and Regional Road Safety (mainly Queensland) and so made contact and was offered a chance to speak as part of the webinar, either in Brisbane or via zoom. I was given 8 minutes and did a 5 page powerpoint presentation, finding out the day before, I was actually being touted as talking about mental health, so had to add another quick page. I took part and was the only fulltime road user involved. There were many including Police, researchers and academics and I thank them for their contributions as well and CARRSQ for the chance to raise our issues, but it simply shows how hard it is to not only be even aware such opportunities exist, let alone to be able to participate.
One comment thanked them for including me as a road user and another came direct to me, again thanking me for taking the time and effort and that the issues I raised were welcome and valid. How can we ever be heard and have our issues addressed as well as contribute to any road safety discussion, when we are generally left out. No one from the trucking industry was to my knowledge invited to either of these and from where I sit, had I not been at home with time to spare, no one as a truckie on the road, let alone any industry association, would have been involved. My bit may help, but we must have genuine inclusion and participation all the time, not just by accident. We are the biggest individual users of the network, we are affected most by failures and lack of facilities and yet we are mostly ignored. This must change and I will do all I can and annoy as many people as possible and as needs to be done, to see this change.
Then there was another webinar by Austroads about getting rid of older trucks. Now this one I had less than 3 hours notice when I found out about it. I was able to ask one question which was not discussed in the webinar and there were two findings that go against what we have been generally led to believe, one is that it is rigids in urban work that pose the biggest health costs and risks and two, that the oldest trucks are not the ones with the biggest crash stats, it is the next group. There may well be more to investigate and further details to be released and of course, the findings may get more clout than they deserve, if those with a specific axe to grind or cart to push, use them as they might.
I then attended the monthly meeting of the Dubbo Bypass and Newell Highway Alliance and we will be launching an epetition in August seeking a better outcome for Dubbo instead of being railroaded into accepting a half arse solution to both the traffic and flooding issues that affect the Newell and Dubbo and will only continue to worsen. Many other towns have been given bypasses and or ring roads, but Dubbo, as the crossroads of NSW, is being told, take what you are given. A bad solution that will not do anything to solve the problems, it may improve them slightly, but for the future, we need a solution that will see Dubbo grow and through traffic able to get through without traffic and flooding affecting them more and more. It may then even see Dubbo with decent truck facilities, something we lack and yet there are two in Gilgandra and one in Tomingley.
The money being planned to be spent on the River Street Bridge would be most of what would be needed to provide the first section of a ring road and then it could be done in stages as needed. If River St goes ahead, Dubbo will not get a ring road for the next 40 to 50 years, so what do you think the traffic in and through town will be like then? It will be a case of “We should have built a ring road” too bloody late.
So off to the surgeon tonight, keen to see him at 7PM on a Sunday, my first meeting with him since the surgery. He is a friendly bloke and must work as hard as most truckies, but I think he might earn a bit more. My pool efforts earlier in the week, being in nice warm water I didn’t go silly, but spent 40 minutes with what I thought was gentle exercise, but I might have just gone a bit hard. Later that night it hurt and the next day at physio, I had actually gone backward with movement, so whilst I have listened and tried to be patient, I do understand better that they may well know what is best. But we will see what the doctor says. Nearly caught up, a few more issues and emails re the new truck to sort, finish chasing up new members benefits for NRFA members from the truckshow and physio Tuesday. Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.