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I SPY: The great speed camera divide

PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE: Graham Hunt is dwarfed by some big machinery at Agquip Expo at Gunnedah.
PUTTING THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE: Graham Hunt is dwarfed by some big machinery at Agquip Expo at Gunnedah.

OPINION is divided among truckies Spy has spoken to about whether state governments should have warning signs advising the location of speed cameras.

There is little doubt speed cameras are cash cows but the issue is whether they are revenue raisers or have the focus on road safety.

Spy heard some truckies in deep conversation about the subject at a roadhouse parking area.

Some reckon if you speed, you deserve to be caught and pay a fine.

A couple have no doubt the cameras are assisting to reduce the road toll.

But others were adamant the cameras are there to provide revenue for authorities.

With the number of truckies on highways keeping Australia supplied collectively, they have a lot of votes.

Up in Queensland the subject of warning signs before speed cameras is becoming an election issue.

The Labor Government has removed the requirement for mobile speed camera units to display "speed camera in use” signs to inform motorists.

However the LNP has sent out press releases advising they would make the signs' presence law if elected.

Whatever your thoughts we know the government in Banana Benders' territory will pocket about $194million this year from speed cameras.

Broken windscreens

SEVERAL Tasmanian truckies have contacted Spy regarding a section of the Midlands Hwy, between Launceston and Hobart, which they claim is cracking and causing damage to windscreens.

It is the section between Launceston and Perth and a truckie told Spy reports had come in of numerous broken windscreens.

He says a truck had a cracked windscreen at the Epping Forest Roadhouse just up the road.

Another truckie who delivered produce to Hobart said travel along that section required extreme care.

"It seems a lot of stones have not sealed and I have had several windscreen chips on my DAF 460,” he said.

The roadworks are part of a major highway upgrade which the driver estimated added 30 minutes to the 190km trip between the two Tassie cities.

Truckies realise when the work is done it will result in a much safer Midlands Hwy, which is listed as one of the 10 most dangerous in the country.

My Apple Isle mates reckon the police have had a field day issuing fines to anybody breaking the speed limit.

But mostly the culprits have been car drivers.

Warning flicks

SPY has heard on the bush telegraph that several truckies in different states have been infringed by the boys in blue for flicking their lights to warn oncoming motorists about speed radars.

One was in Victoria, outside Melbourne, and another incident over in Western Australia, near Freemantle.

You often see it occur and just the other day Spy was driving along the Bruce Hwy, near the Abbot Point turnoff, and had several motorists -including a truckie - flicked their lights.

Sure enough, not far ahead were several cops with radar guns.

It is fair to say most times the flickers get away with it unless they are caught in the act by a patrol car in the vicinity.

Flying to the expo

A SMALL group of road transport enthusiasts chartered a light plane from Lismore, in New South Wales, to attend the Agquip Expo from August 22-24 at Gunnedah.

Agquip is reportedly the biggest agricultural expo in Australia and the venue site covers 32ha.

"It was so big we only saw about half of it. There were plenty of big tractors for broadacre cultivation,” Graham Hunt told Spy.

It was the 45th year of the event which showcases more than 3000 companies and attracts more than 100,000 visitors during three days from across the nation and overseas.

Recently Graham drove to Alice Springs and checked out the Transport Hall of Fame and has been to remote places like Palm Island checking out trucks.

Seasick truckie

THERE is one community- minded South Australian truckie who is renowned for his volunteer work for good causes.

This middle-aged lad lives near Port Lincoln and always put up his hand during time off for things like church working bees, etc.

Some of his mates suggested he may well like to become a volunteer for the Coast Guard.

"I couldn't do that as I get sea sick just from getting into the bath tub,” he responded, to hoots of laughter from his friends.

He went on to say he almost drowned in a swimming pool as a youngster.

Chair on the plain

CURIOSITY killed the cat so the saying goes and that was the case for several truckies during a trip along the Eyre Hwy.

They were driving across the Nullarbor and couldn't believe their eyes when they saw a man travelling on a skateboard and carrying a fold-up chair on his shoulders.

None of them pulled up to ask him the reason but one told Spy about it when he was parked up interstate.

"It can be very boring along the Nullarbor but this was something I have never seen before and it provided something different on my trip,” he said.

Beef thief

A bizarre robbery during which a light refrigerated truck full of meat was stolen has left a North Queensland butcher with a "beef”.

Just after 8am on August 11 staff at Procut Meats, at Annandale, were loading the rig with meat.

To keep the meat at a safe temperature, the lads had to leave the truck running and that is when the opportunistic thief struck.

They drove off in the truck, which was dumped nearby with all meat still intact.

However cash from the cab was missing and some beef had to be disposed of.

Another butcher offered the victim the loan of a truck which was a nice gesture.

Truckies Spy spoke to have never heard of such a theft.

The right grass

SEVERAL truckies enjoying a meal at a popular roadhouse eatery sparked the curiosity of others.

One not-so-keen gardener asked the waitress what the price of "grass” was as he wanted to buy some rolls of turf.

Ears pricked and Spy was sitting near a table of people who were not involved in the road transport industry.

"He must want to buy a deal of marijuana,” one bright spark said.

Another suggested if that was the case perhaps the driver would have enquiries about "weed” instead.

Anyway it turns out the waitresses husband owns a turf or green grass (lawn) company.

Our driver purchased some lawn sections to replenish some dead patches in his yard.

Topics:  ispy speed cameras trucking

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