Wednesday, April 10, 2013

20130410 B-doubles Are Dangerous and Should Be Banned.

B-doubles Are Dangerous and Should Be Banned.

According to the Australian Department of Infrastructure and Transport, there have been, on average, 35 deaths per year in Queensland involving heavy vehicles. 35 people are killed every year by trucks. When there is as little as one death involving our soldiers, police or teachers there is a public outcry. The Easter holidays saw another fatal accident where two more innocent people were killed by a B-double truck. According the news report, the driver claimed he made some kind of conscious decision on where to crash. This is obviously nonsense. The claim raises some questions about the job (it is not a profession) of driving a truck. Clearly, it is improbable that a skilled and experienced driver can decide where to crash an out-of-control truck - if the truck was under any control, then there would be no accident. The driver clearly failed to judge the situation correctly. The driver is either incompetent, sadly mistaken, a liar or a murderer.

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads currently have a campaign aimed to reduce the number of needless bloody deaths on Queensland roads; Distracted Driving. Such is the problem of being distracted while driving that the Queensland TMR has managed to create a new genre of its own among the top four reasons that trucks kill people. As at the time writing, Queensland heavy vehicles are the only Australian state to have killed a baby.

In a recent conversation with a B-double driver, I was told that truck drivers often refer to the police as pigs and that the CB radio is alive with chatter about the perceived persecution of truck drivers. This same B-double driver understands why all Australian Federal Police are referred to in this manner and strenuously defended his right to do so. In what lower levels of Bloom's Taxonomy do these people live?

In a job that is directly involved in the accidental deaths of 35 people every year, B-double drivers are either criminally incompetent or B-double drivers are not adequately trained to safely operate the machine; or, the standard needed to attain an HC licence is dangerously low. Already this year there are 7 graves sadly occupied by people who are no longer in a fit state to make their opinions heard.

The Queensland TMR issued a guideline specifically for heavy vehicle drivers, in which it provides details of the Distracted Driving campaign. The level of language is consistent with the level used to instruct children of 12-years of age.  It explains the risks in three ways: manual, visual and cognitive. It clearly states that simple acts such as changing the radio are significant risk to road safety. Any driver who does not follow these simple guidelines is either incompetent in applying simple safety rules, or needs more training.

The Heavy Vehicle Driver Fact Sheet number 4 clearly states:

  • A manual distraction is when you take your hands off the wheel..."
  • A visual distraction is anything that takes your eyes off the road.."  and
  • A cognitive distraction is anything that takes your mind off the driving task."

Using a mobile phone while driving is mentioned specifically and repeatedly. Texting while driving is deemed
so dangerous that it carries a penalty of 3 demerit points and fine of  $330 even when stopped at traffic lights. Compare the combined elements of manual, visual and cognitive distractions present while texting to the equally distracting task of taking 'selfies' while driving. The Australian landscape is wonderful, beautiful and inspiring, but for safety's sake, history has proven there is a significant risk of killing yet another innocent person while a fully-laden truck hurtles along at 100 kilometres an hour and uses 30 metres-a-second of life-saving stopping distance.

When it comes to safety, a B-double is not even a remotely safe way of transporting 30,000 litres of petrol.
Petrol is dangerous enough when it is stationary, but why in the name of Google would any sane person think it is safe to put a poisonous, flammable, heavy, carcinogenic liquid in motion through public streets knowing the probability of a fatal accident and the 'acceptable' standard of training has already resulted in the deaths of 7 people this year (2013).



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  2. You have taken me out of text and used my photos without my permission. Nice one Dave. And because there are no photos of you doing anything illegal or immoral - it never happened!


  3. Thank you for your comments.

    Do you mean taken out of context? If so, please explain the context and I will consider a correction.
    The pictures were obtained from an publicly available webpage; if you like, and at your request, I will include a reference to the source to the pictures. Considering the picture is evidence of a breach of the Road Transport Safety Act 2009 and a demonstration of your standard of professionalism as a Heavy Combination driver, maintaining your anonymity was the main concern.

    Please feel free to reply at anytime.
    David Nightingale

  4. You chose to vilify your brother. You have publicly used me and my company allocated vehicle to support your own agenda. I should notify Toll Holdings. Now there is a legal department you don't mess with big fella, so I suggest you blur out their name on the trailers. You could have used a photo (selfie) of hundreds of other drivers that have facebook pages. The photo that you vilify me with was taken on the 11.11.11 at 11am on the Hume Hwy (dual carriage way with no traffic in sight, I have another photo to show that too - that's right I took two photos)and was placed on facebook for my wife as to where we were on the memorable date. Use of communications equipment while driving is illegal. Don't lecture me on the ability to operate a heavy vehicle because I'll out drive you ten times over. My left arm and hand remains on the gear shift for the majority of metro driving. Going through 18 gears in suburbs leaves little time for both hands on the wheel. There's a big difference when it comes to experience, I spend 72hrs a week on the road. The general public is lucky to do that many hours a year. I have avoided more accidents and reported more near missus with cars and motorbikes that I have with other trucks.

    I stated that I understand why the AFP are called pigs. I have never referred to police as pigs. Especially when doing their duty as highway patrol officers. I have been pulled over many times for logbook and safety checks and as I have told you never thought they were pigs. I did understand why police were called pigs when watching a news bulletin that showed Australian Federal Police roughing up little girls through no fault of their own. I have been down this road with you for nearly two years, I'm over it.
    The message is posted anonymously because I really don't want a login for Livejounal. YOU KNOW WHO I AM!

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      " Don't lecture me on the ability to operate a heavy vehicle"
      Where have I lectured you? I have given no instruction on how to operate a heavy vehicle.

    2. Dear Anonymous,
      "I should notify Toll Holdings. Now there is a legal department you don't mess with big fella, so I suggest you blur out their name on the trailers."
      Did you notify Toll Holdings? I ask because I have heard nothing from them. ...or didn't you want them to know you were taking pictures of yourself while driving?

      Thank you.

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. You are now actually picking a fight with Toll Holdings.

    You are either;

    A complete idiot.

    I have no doubt you'll be hearing from Toll and Carlswood Transport.
    (Carlswood Transport own the Prime Mover, Toll own the trailers)
    At best you will asked to remove the picture but they can get nasty.

    1. It has now been more than two years since the posting, to date, I have not heard from Toll or Carlswood Transport despite the fact that I sent them a link to the article.
      Toll and Carlswood Transport have in no way been nasty.

  7. David,
    The photo of the B double is my photo too. You got it from my Facebook page without my permission. I object to you to posting my photo to vilify me and transport company that I worked for. Neither party (Toll Holdings or Carlswood Transport) illustrated had anything to do with the accident that you are berating the transport industry about. I suggest you use a photograph of a B Double with unidentifiable markings.
    Kind regards,

    1. The terms and conditions of facebook pictures:
      Privacy 1.2.4
      "When you publish content or information using the Public setting, it means that you are allowing everyone, including people off of Facebook, to access and use that information, and to associate it with you (i.e., your name and profile picture)."

    2. Thank you for your suggestion that I use a picture of a truck with unidentifiable markings, but why would I?

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  9. Dear Management of Toll and Carlswood Transport,

    Just a note to say that it has been three months since I asked if there were any objections.

    Thank you.
    David Nightingale

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