Daryl Dickenson urges drivers to be safe on the roads this Christmas.
Daryl Dickenson urges drivers to be safe on the roads this Christmas.

Trucking industry pleads drivers to be safe this Christmas

TRUCKIE Daryl Dickenson thinks that drivers who are caught using their mobile phone while driving should be treated the same as those who are charged with drink driving offences.

Mr Dickenson, who owns Daryl Dickenson Transport in Yatala with his wife Tracey, made the comments this morning at the launch of a Christmas social media campaign run by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and National Transport Insurance.

The campaign will share tips for drivers to ensure they operate safely around heavy vehicles. 

NTI chief executive officer Tony Clark said the NTI data shows truck drivers were more often not at fault in high-profile accidents.

"We know there is often a negative public perception when it comes to truck safety and accidents, however this data tells a different story. It's important to remember trucks are the lifeblood of Australia," he said.

Daryl echoed his sentiments about truck drivers not always being at fault when he shared details of a near miss he was involved in last night on his way back home to Yatala.

He said he was driving past a roadhouse near Gympie when a car pulled out 30 or 40 metres in front of him to go into the truck stop.

"It was wet, and I got close enough I could see hanging shirts in the back of his car and Christmas presents on the seat," he said.

"I don't think a latte is that important to push the boundaries like that and tangle with a truck, it doesn't end well."

Daryl said he saw car drivers doing something stupid on the roads about once a day.

"Usually it's with younger drivers that are in a hurry to be somewhere," he said.

His message to drivers out on the roads this Christmas period was not to travel parallel to a truck on the highway.

"A truck has got blind spots and most people don't know the most dangerous spot to travel is right underneath the mirrors and doors," he said.

"If you're there just pacing the truck, they're not going to see you. If you're going to overtake a truck, don't be indecisive, overtake it, or stay behind it or get in front, just don't travel parallel to it."

NHVR Acting Chief Executive Officer Ray Hassall says the recent Chain of Responsibility changes make everyone involved with the trucking industry more accountable for safety.

"Any time a person or business sends or receives goods using a heavy vehicle they have a shared responsibility to ensure safety," Mr Hassall said.

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