Drive safely during festive season
IT IS coming up to the time of the year when extra care must be taken by everybody on the highways and byways.
During Christmas and into the new year many people will be on holidays with lots of extra traffic all around Oz.
With that increase comes a higher risk of danger and road accidents.
Law enforcement will be heavy and no doubt truck drivers will be under close scrutiny.
It is one of the only times of the year when most truckies can be guaranteed some time off.
During Christmas, most will be off only for a precious few days and get to spend treasured time with family and friends.
Let's hope the road toll over the period is zero although that rarely occurs.
AS WE close in on 2015 it is apt to reflect on one of the bad habits of car drivers which anger truckies.
During the year many have told of the dangers posed by car drivers on mobile phones while behind the wheel.
You can see many such incidences every day in any city as you drive around.
In a few hours of one day during early December, Spy saw five incidences.
A delivery driver in a Hino was at a set of traffic lights behind a four-wheel drive.
The light turned green and it took the fellow in front several minutes before he took off.
Our truckie observed he had been texting on his phone.
The upshot was the driver got the green light and everybody else had to wait after it changed to red.
Washed out mouth
THERE was some irony in this incident involving a truckie who had a liberal sprinkling of amber fluid at a party this month.
This gent is always telling his teenaged kids that if they swear he will "wash their mouths out".
Old mate arrived home and woke in the middle of the night with a severe bad breath.
He walked out to the kitchen and grabbed was he thought was green coloured mouthwash, which kills most germs and freshens the breath.
Soon after having a big mouthful, he gargled it in his mouth and spat it out swiftly.
Alas, it was dishwashing liquid.
Indeed he had washed out his own mouth.
Diamonds for gift
VETERAN Western Australian truckie known for being reluctant to spend money promised his wife a special gift for Christmas.
"You are so special to me so I have decided to give you a gift with lots of diamonds," he said.
Love was in the air as the wife pondered where on earth he purchased it from.
Then came the deflation of her ego.
"I am giving you a pack of playing cards which have diamonds, hearts, spades and clubs," he said.
He has been sent to sleep on the couch.
Saved by his cat
A PET cat may well have saved the life of a veteran Queensland truckie or at least stopped him from being very ill.
Like many truckies around Oz, his hobby is fishing… obviously when he has down time.
Anyway he came home with a big feed of mackerel and was feeling a bit tired so put off having a feed of the fillets until the next day.
But he did cut off a slice and fed it to his eager cat who was hanging around like a bad smell.
Alas, when he woke the next morning, the cat was dead.
He discovered the fish was contaminated with ciguatera poison, a food-borne illness caused by eating certain reef fish whose flesh is contaminated with toxins.
SPY is never amazed at the phone calls and emails he receives from truckies around the country.
The latest was when a Tasmanian driver emailed him a picture of some pushbikes on a fence from somewhere in the Apple Isle.
But there was no explanation as to the location of the image.
So he fired back an email and was soon told the bikes, pictured below, were on the fence of a caravan park at the Tassie east coast town of Scamander.
A nice place as well is Scamander and many truckies stop there as they work in the area.
Wicked Van flashers
SEVERAL truckies from different states have told Spy recently of getting more than an eyeful as they pass those Wicked Vans in which young tourists travel.
They say many of the attractive young women travel topless.
"When they put their seats back, us truckies can get a good view inside and so many of them are topless," one told Spy.
TRUCKIES who travel to western Cape York in far north Queensland will welcome news that the Weipa-Mapoon Access Rd has been sealed.
Previously a gravel road, it provides the only access for the Mapoon community to Weipa and the Peninsula Developmental Rd.
Intense rainfall and run-off during ex-tropical cyclones Olga, Neville, Ului and Paul extensively damaged the road in 2010.
It was reformed and re-sheeted.
In 2013, the road was impacted again as a result of ex-tropical cyclone Oswald, with damage including loss of gravel and formation.
Combined, the damage bill was in excess of $1.5million.
In addition to these disaster events, the road surface and shoulders can suffer heavy scouring even in minor storms.
By sealing this part of the road, the council's betterment project will improve safety for motorists and enable the community to safely evacuate during major rainfall and flooding events.
GEE whiz, the year has gone so quickly and once again Christmas and the festive season in almost here.
A big thanks to everyone who has contributed to the 25 I Spy columns during 2014.
Much of the information has come from discussions at roadhouses or rest areas with truckies. Some has been gleaned from phone calls or emails drivers have sent.
While we have discussed some serious issues affecting drivers, a lot of the content has been about the things that truckies have seen as they travel the highways and byways keeping Australia running.
Along the way the desire has been to give readers a laugh and make them happy.
A big Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all and safe driving.
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