Debate rages over who had right of way in truckie video
LIKE many community members, Frank Ewings was filled with frustration when he watched a dangerous driving video posted by The Observer and The Morning Bulletin earlier this week.
But unlike most, Mr Ewings' frustration stemmed from what he called a blatant ignorance towards basic road rules.
The video in question was captured by Gladstone truck driver John Coutts last Friday whilst travelling between Gladstone and Rockhampton.
It shows a semi trailer overtaking several vehicles as an overtaking lane comes to an end.
In the process, the semi crosses double lines and comes dangerously close to an oncoming car.
Mr Ewings worked as a professional driver for many years.
He believes 60% of drivers don't understand basic road rules.
In relation to the video, Mr Ewings said the vehicles in the left lane were required to give way to the semi-trailer.
"That truck driver had nowhere to go. It's clear as anything," he said.
"He has some blame but when it comes down to the Queensland road rules, he's in the right."
Mr Ewings said if the other drivers had not been in the way, the truckie would have been able slot in behind the caravan.
"That truckie had total right to come through," he said.
Mr Ewings said all road users needed to be more courteous.
"Learn your road rules," he said. "Give way. Don't force other people to break the rules.
"This poor truckie is now wearing all the blame.
"Perhaps he should have had more patience but he's not in the wrong."
Police say video demonstrates 'discourteous driving behaviour'
Acting Senior Sergeant Darryl Richter, from the Gladstone District Traffic Branch, said police were attempting to identify the vehicles in the video footage.
On face value, he said the video demonstrated irresponsible and discourteous driving behaviour.
"Preliminary investigations indicate the driver of the heavy vehicle has undertaken an overtaking manoeuvre when it was not safe to do so," Acting Senior Sergeant Richter said.
"Some social media comments have focused on the actions of the driver who posted the video footage and the driver towing the caravan.
"Preliminary investigations are still under way to investigate the actions of all drivers."
What the road rules say
According to the Transport Operation Regulation 2009, on roads where there are lanes marked on the road, if a driver's lane comes to an end, they must give way to traffic already in the lane they are moving to.
On roads where there are no lanes marked on the road, when lines of traffic merge, drivers must give way to any vehicle that is ahead.
Acting Senior Sergeant Richter said it was up to every motorist using the roads to drive with reasonable consideration for other road users, and to be aware that when confronted with an instance of irresponsible driving, it may be safer to remove yourself from any potential situation by backing off and letting that vehicle go.
"By obtaining a good description of the vehicle and if possible a registration, the matter can be reported to police for investigation," he said.
A Transport and Main Roads spokesperson said the video footage was a reminder to motorists to take care on the roads, especially during the busy holiday period.
The department was unable to provide further comment on the incident.
"Remember to stay safe this summer and obey the road rules, which include not crossing double lines to overtake vehicles."
For more information on road rules, go to tmr.qld.gov.au/Safety/Queensland-Road-Rules.aspx.