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Truckies say 'stupid' new laws will cause fatal crashes

These traffic jams are a common sight. Picture by Scott Fletcher
These traffic jams are a common sight. Picture by Scott Fletcher

TRUCKIES say new laws that will restrict them to the left lanes on the M1 through the Gold Coast are unfair and could cause fatal crashes.

The rules, aimed at reducing congestion for the Commonwealth Games, come into force in August 1 and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey has said they are likely to stay in place post-Games.

The rules are based on those used in parts of Europe and the United States, where they have reduced the incidence of truck-related crashes.

Neville Smith, who drives trucks between Sydney to Brisbane, said the rules would cause crashes as merging car drivers either sped up to pass a truck in the left lane or slowed down in fright at the approaching big rigs.

"I think it's stupid, it has the potential to kill somebody relatively quickly," he said.

"When I come into the Gold Coast area, I usually stick to the outside lane because people get scared when they see a B-double coming.

"By staying in the outside lane, at traffic speed, I'm staying away from everyone."

The M1 gets heavily backed up when a serious crash occurs. Picture: Glenn Hampson
The M1 gets heavily backed up when a serious crash occurs. Picture: Glenn Hampson

Social media has been flooded with truck drivers protesting the new laws, with some calling for strike action.

"This will create more congestion. Traffic in the right lanes won't be able to move to the left lanes as they will full of trucks Hence cars won't be able exit the motorway," said one driver.

"Well we best ensure they start fining car drivers for 20+km/h under, merging under the speed limit, sitting in middle lane etc and educate drivers," said another.

Truckies breaching the ban will be pinged for $121 and three demerit points under the new law, a penalty the Queensland Trucking Association said was too harsh.

"Three demerit points seems an unreasonable impost for a congestion issue," CEO Gary Mahon said.

"Generally speaking, we're co-operative with the stance that's been taken, we expect it to be a trial and that we will see some measurable outcomes from it."

There’s been plenty said about truck safety on the M1, including this 2006 protest.
There’s been plenty said about truck safety on the M1, including this 2006 protest.

Topics:  commonwealth games editors picks gold coast m1 truck drivers truckies trucking

News Corp Australia

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