EVERY now and then, Wickham Freight Lines national logistics director Graham Keogh takes the opportunity to drive one of his trucks somewhere to get the feel of what his drivers face daily.
This time, he took a load of fresh meat down the New England Highway from Warwick to Sydney, dropping it off at the customer's place in Wetherill Park before re-loading at Singleton and heading home to Warwick.
"I am pleased to report that I noticed a vast improvement in the manner trucks are being driven generally," he said of his trip.
"All that I encountered appeared to be driven safely, particularly through the built-up areas."
Not only that, but Graham was also impressed with the way the highway patrolmen made themselves "visible and obvious" to the public.
"It's quite noticeable to someone like me who isn't on the road as often these days, that it is making a difference - and that's a good thing."
Graham relayed his comments to New South Wales Police Force Traffic and Highway Patrol Command Chief Inspector Phillip Brooks, who in turn shared them with Big Rigs.
"Graham rang me directly and relayed his thoughts on the positive nature of how the roads are being shared, which was great to hear," Chief Inspector Brooks said.
"Graham's comments certainly highlight what we see on the roads.
"We are always keen to partner with operators, to ensure that they get the message on what the risks are on our roads."
Chief Inspector Brooks said the Coffee with a Cop program certainly gave police a great opportunity to engage directly with drivers and talk through what the challenges are.
"We can only learn from those that are on the roads, every day of the week, in terms of safety and compliance," he said.
"With the support of Ben Maguire of the Australian Trucking Association and Vanda Power of BP Australia, we have delivered events at Marulan, Eastern Creek and more recently BP Parkes, chatting over a coffee, in the hope that with the support of the industry, we can drive change."
ATA chief executive officer Ben Maguire said truck drivers have "told us time and time again how beneficial these events are" and how important it was for road users and police officers to understand each other.
"Sometimes road users have misconceptions about police and vice-versa, so it's a great opportunity for each to share their side of the story," he said.
"It's also a perfect chance for the ATA to hear from drivers and understand their on-road concerns first hand.
"It's important for road users and police officers to understand each other.
"Events like Coffee with a Cop are a great chance for police officers to meet with our truck drivers and recognise the contribution they make on our roads.
"It's a great chance for road users to share their side of the story with police and vice-versa."