Jeff Wright shared his thoughts on sharing the road.
Jeff Wright shared his thoughts on sharing the road. Bruce Thomas/ Coffs Coast Advoca

No more bagging each other out, it’s about safe driving

I RECENTLY picked up a copy of Big Rigs in NQ, as I do from time to time. I recall writing to you perhaps 12 months ago on a similar theme of safety on the road.

That is, the inappropriate promotion of derogatory utterances aimed at caravanners to your largest reader group.

Those among the group who are quick to bag caravanners could just as easily take a look at themselves and ask "if they have ever made an inadvertent mistake" out there on the road.

I dare to suggest that all sections of the travelling public make mistakes which are observed as being inconsiderate. Whether it's big rigs, body trucks, caravanners, motorhomes, camper-trailers, cars, motorcyclists or bicycle riders, everyone makes a mistake; or appears to have been inconsiderate. It's not always deliberate.

There are, of course, a small percentage of non-thinking oxygen thieves who do outwardly claim to be aggressive towards other road user categories.

Isn't defensive driving the basis of safe driving?

The article on page 8 of the 21/02/20 Big Rigs labelling caravanners as "inconsiderate idiots" only panders to the negative mess-room culture non-thinking people often adopt.

It does not assist Rod Hannifey's work for better relations out there.

Big Rigs editor should not print those negative, antagonising comments.

There are plenty of stories out there illustrating the risky driving demonstrated by truck drivers.

Where is the balanced reporting seeking to reduce the aggression out there in truck-driving world?

What is the magazine's policy? Surely a finger-pointing exercise does nothing but reinforce biased views.

A balanced debate which leads to greater understanding would result in improved relationships.

Else, clearly write a disclosure stating that those views are the views of one individual and not supported by the magazine.

It is the negative spruikers who should not be on the road as they are definite threats to other road users simply because of their attitudes.

If you are unhappy in the job as a professional truck driver, seek employment elsewhere.

Piloting a large truck down the highway brings with it a responsibility to do so safely.

The best way to do that is by driving defensively.

Might is not a right to exert undue pressure on the interaction of road users going about their lawful rights.

While the Big Rigs article seems to be about inappropriate use of parking facilities, the point seems valid from the notion alluded; and does give rise to confusion due to inconsistent signage across Australia.

Efforts and energy should be put into clarifying what is joint parking areas and clear statements about what is solely for trucks.

Governments could do a lot better in regard to this and other associated issues.

The obvious rebuttal to the article's assertion is that trucks do also park in designated RV signed areas, hence the need for clearer signage and an attitude adjustment. Everyone needs to have more respect and consideration all around.

As an experienced caravanner, I can cite numerous examples of caravans parked in what appears to be a truck parking area, then up the road there is a truck parked in a caravan/RV area.

Anyone can cite negative events out there, including truckies who openly say on the radio how they ran an RV off the road at the merging lanes [lots of drivers, including truck drivers, who do not know merging rules complicates this matter].

Just as there are some trucks that do not travel as fast as other trucks, there are a few RVers who do travel at the posted speeds (not all caravans are set up to do that).

Most caravans that are under top speed are driving to the conditions presented to them.

Everyone has to start somewhere, we all did. It is unfair to say RVs should travel at the posted speed at all times.

Some trucks have restricted speeds, as do some RVs.

Another example is the claim that RVs speed up at overtaking lanes; yes, that may occur.

So does every other category of drivers (including truck-drivers) when we see a nice piece of road that is usually better and smoother, we naturally tend to increase speed for a range of reasons we've just come through.

As a result of this letter to you, I would like to see less bagging of RV drivers in your magazine and, some leadership promoting better understanding of what actually happens on the roads.

As editor you can do a lot towards building better relationships, thus enhanced road safety.

As I've taken the opportunity to provide a range of examples as food for thought, feel free to build on these ideas for future Big Rigs articles.

It should not be about geeing-up your magazine's target reader to gain more readers and sponsors.

It should be about defensive driving.

Jeff Wright

Big Rigs

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