26th March 2023

Goodaye all, an interesting week for me with calls back from TMR and a Heavy Vehicle Rest area Committee meeting, finalizing our application guidelines, but a bad week for industry with some sad and serious crashes. My thoughts go to the families of those involved.

So I have a mate who drives in Central Qld and there is the McKenzie River rest area on the Fitzroy Development Road south from the Peak Downs Highway towards Dingo. I have previously spoken with TMR asking who put up some green reflectors (though the border for TMR Mackay finishes at Middlemount) and there were (till I was there some months ago) not only no green reflectors, but only one signed bay for that stretch to Dingo! They are still to get back to me.

But at the meeting called by the Assistant Police Commissioner which I attended in Mackay some months ago,  I raised the issue of new signs at this rest area stopping westbound trucks from entering from that end. Two other drivers had agreed there was now a problem. There was no come back from the TMR chief who attended that meeting, so I have chased again. Finally got a call three months later after I had complained about the new toilets on the road towards Belyando from Clermont having hand written signs saying “toilets out of order” and the fellow apologized for the delay, saying he had been off on leave and thought it was sorted now.

Yes it had been, they were not even technically opened and neither were the ones at the intersection of the Peak Downs and Fitzroy Roads when I rang and complained there was no toilet paper in any of the loos. Then if they are not open, why are they left open with no signage to say otherwise??

So I explained the McKenzie problem, weeks later he came back and said, no, there are no new signs there, so I asked my mate for photos and sent them in, more quiet, then the call. “Yes there are signs there as part of an upgrade”, really well what do you know? “But your new signs now expect a loaded AB triple at over 100 tonnes gross to do a U turn across and block both lanes to get in and then do the same to get out when there is a corner blocking line of site!!!!!!!!! Yes they seem to think that is safer and I and others disagree vehemently. So I asked them to remove the signs, they are wrong and have created a hazard, not removed one, that I want a response and will keep asking and emailing and ringing until they are removed, unless they will build another rest area on the other side. No we don’t have the money and he does not have the power, yes I understand that, hence the request for you to put my comments forward and to respond to them.

This is yet another time that those who think they know what it is like to drive trucks, have no clue. Their intent is genuine, did they consult anyone, let alone a truck driver, many will ignore the signs, but then will the local copper decide this is an easy mark? I will follow up with the TMR boss from the meeting and the Police, but this is why we must have a voice, even if only to know what they are doing and to comment first. We all see what we think is sometimes a stupid waste of money and we do know there is no bottomless pit of same, yet we must get better value, because it is our lives they are playing with. If they won’t even agree the signs are there, how will we get them to listen?

If you have any such issues, let me know. Another mate rang, tearing his hair out over the crashes, saying and rightfully so, you have been trying to fix this shit for years and nothing changes, no one listens, but please tell me who can and will? He wants, like many, a changeover site on the Pacific, during the week it was mayhem at Kempsey. I gave him some steps to take and he has said he will and with a new NSW government, maybe we will get some action, so we will have to push and even scream to get this underway. Again, if you use the Pacific, if you see and live this problem, write me a paragraph, not ten pages, but a fair and reasoned explanation of the problem we can put forward. I don’t do changeovers and certainly not on the Pacific, so I need five who do to give me something to push with. Will any of you do this? Till next week, Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey.  

By truckright

An Australian truckie aiming to improve both how the road transport industry is seen and understood by the public and to improve road safety for all.

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