Heavy haulage vehicles on the M1 are problematic

Letters to the editorLetters to the editor

[Forum] The controversial M1 Freeway has once again been the scene of a horrific truck/car accident that has taken the lives of two more innocent people making their way home or on holidays.

Truck drivers cause hell on a daily basis, with plenty of evidence that heavy haulage trucks are involved in many near misses. It’s like putting oil and water together and expecting them to mix. There would not be one commuter who travels on the freeway on a regular basis that would not have a scary story in which a semi-trailer or earth moving B-double was involved. Speeding downhill to make it up the other side. Changing lanes like they were driving a small sedan. Frequently tailgating whilst flashing their lights to get car drivers to move over, even if they are travelling at the maximum speed, and or trucks doing well over 100km in the 80 or 90 zones.

To be fair, I also see car drivers causing hell for the trucks by darting in and out of the traffic or cutting them off, yet on many occasions, I have witnessed duelling truck drivers playing cat and mouse with each other amongst innocent car drivers. I have never seen the police pull over heavy haulage vehicles for driving dangerously on the M1. Who in government made the decision to have hundreds of earthmoving trucks, mixing with long haulage trucks, moving to and from Sydney to Doyalson, to dump spoil from government projects in the Vales Point Power Station fly ash dams, during the reconstruction of parts of the M1, which happen to be restricted 80km zones? On the many occasions, I have travelled to and from Sydney for family reasons, nearly every time I see an incident involving a raging truck driver. Only last weekend, I was very closely tailgated by a heavy haulage vehicle, flashing his lights, whilst having two extremely terrified 90-year-old relatives in the back seat, yet I had nowhere to go, as another was next to me.

I have found that it is useless to take the registration number of the trailer when overtaking, as the companies I have contacted use the excuse that anyone of their trucks could have been using that particular trailer, and next time get the prime mover’s number. Not so easily done, to be expected to get in front of a raging truck driver and write down their registration number. Heavy haulage vehicle drivers putting their indicators on at the last minute, when they feel like overtaking a slower truck and thinking they have the right to do so, is a recipe for disaster. They cause chaos behind them without either knowing or caring. I‘m sure many heavy haulage drivers do the right thing, yet whilst the M1 is under refurbishment, I call on the NSW Transport Minister, Andrew Constance, and Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Scot MacDonald, to force all vehicles considered to be heavy haulage to stay in one lane, to not be able to overtake in construction zones, and to also have more unmarked police cars patrolling for cowboys, before the next death that we read about may be one of their own, or our family or friends.

Email, Aug 1 Gary Blaschke, Lake Munmorah