Truckie's road rage left teacher 'terrified, shaking'
A NORTHERN Rivers school teacher was left shaken and in tears after two "terrifying" road rage incidents involving trucks.
Rebecca Fuggle, of Wollongbar, claimed she was driving in the left lane along Hinterland Way near Ewingsdale on Tuesday when the first truck driver became aggressive.
"He kept honking his horn and he was tailgating me," the 31-year-old said.
"The truck was massive ... I felt pressured and intimidated to speed so that he could go faster but I kept going the speed limit for fear of being disqualified or otherwise."
But Ms Fuggle said the driver of the truck kept getting angrier and she didn't know what she was doing wrong.
"I was thinking why don't you just overtake me and then he started flipping me off out the window and yelling, he was getting more aggressive," she said.
"He found this tight spot to overtake someone on the right lane and continued beeping his horn at me and yelling a tirade of abuse and flipping me off.
"All I was doing was going to the speed limit, he must have been going 20-30km/h over when he took off.
"It was really loud and confronting, I was terrified and shaking.
"I felt bullied and pressured to break the speed limit so he could go faster."
"My heart was racing and I felt panicked and upset at getting abused like that."
Just 10 minutes later Ms Fuggle tried to merge from a lane which was ending when another truck behind her in the same lane sped past her at the end of the lane, overtaking her.
"At the very last second he overtook me and zoomed past me I literally got knocked off the road ... I had nowhere to go as the lane ended," she said.
"He took an unacceptable risk overtaking me at that point.
"I was off the road and was shaking and almost crying."
NRMA spokesperson Helen Machalias said that, "with a concerning road toll in NSW", it was more important than ever for light vehicle drivers and heavy vehicle drivers to "share the road safely".
"There are a number of things that light vehicle drivers can do to interact safely with heavy vehicle drivers on the road," she said.
"Heavy vehicles need more distance to stop, so allow plenty of room when merging in front of a truck.
"If a truck is passing you, ease up on the accelerator to allow them to overtake safely.
"Be cautious around heavy vehicles when they're turning, including on roundabouts - vehicles over 7.5m long are legally allowed to turn from the second or third lane, so stay back and don't move into the blind spot to the left and rear of the truck cab.
"The NRMA is also championing the introduction of a range of compulsory safety features to be included in all new heavy vehicles on NSW roads, such as underrun prevention, autonomous emergency braking systems and electronic stability control."
Ms Fuggle said she believed most truck drivers did the right thing on the road.
But she said the constraints put on them by their companies were "ridiculous" and made it "unsafe for everyone else".
"I can understand if I was going below the speed limit and he was getting upset at me but I was just doing the right thing," she said.
Robert Mander said : "There are too many of this type of truckie out there at the moment and it's no wonder we have seen a rise in truck accidents on the M1 to Sydney in recent months."
Ericka Irvine: "Happens with cars as well, seems those signs on roadside that tell you speed limit don't mean a thing to people...It's amazing how once past a speed camera seems to be a good enough reason to floor it and fly."
Bob McBob said he "frequently witnesses truck drivers speeding, tail-gating, hogging the right lane, (after overtaking) moving back to the left lane way too close to the car behind, overtaking in the left lane, and leaving high beam lights on".
Scott Skinner said : "Without trucks Australia stops."