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A Metre Clearance Please Truck Drivers When Passing

Centurion Transport LogoI was riding south on Cockburn Road, Coogee approaching the intersection with Amity Boulevard on the morning of Monday June 10, 2013 at about 7:40 AM when I experienced an unnecessary close pass at speed (the limit here is 70 km/h) by a Centurion semi-trailer with Centurion decals (see response from Centurion below for the explanation). Reviewing the video it seems the driver didn’t even make an effort to move over to his or her right to provide safe passing clearance!

Cockburn Road, North Coogee when the Centurion truck passed without due care

Cockburn Road, Coogee when the truck passed without due care

Looking at the video you see that I was holding a straight line, you can see the closeness of the pass and worse of all the rear camera shows that the driver does not seem to slow down and worse of all makes no effort to move over to ensure a safe pass even though they should have!

So what was this driver thinking or rather not thinking? Do they honestly think it is safe, responsible, smart driving to be nothing more than a bully behind the wheel of a semi-trailer truck?

Of course if it was not possible to pass safely by moving over, then the driver should have slowed down until it was safe to do so. Putting vulnerable road users, heck any road user at risk just because you are driving a truck should not be acceptable period. Professional driver? I am afraid not.

What makes this worse is that when one visits Centurion’s website we find a strong company focus on safety and a company policy called “Think Safe Act Safe.” I can only conclude that this former contractor for Centurion  (trailer registration number RO 8608) has not worked out what “thinking” means net alone thinking safe acting safe.

More so given that Centurion has a policy called “Think Safe Act Safe” they make emphatic statements such as

We accept no compromise when it comes to safety. Safety is the responsibility of every employee regardless of position or occupation. We conduct our operation in such a manner so as to meet and exceed recognised legislative safety and health requirements. (source)

and they have the following video on their safety policy …

I have written to Mr Mark Doig, Executive General Manager of Centurion and included a copy of the video. If I receive a response from Centurion I will update this blog posting. I do hope in light of the public statements from Centurion that this matter will be handled professionally and the driver concerned gets a clear message that their driving is unacceptable.

Update – June 15, 2013: As promised I am updating this blog posting having be contacted on Friday June 14, 2013 by Mr Mike Moore of Centurion.  It seems from phone call with Mr Moore and I have no reason to not believe him, that this truck operator is no long associated with Centurion. This operator was a contractor for about a month for Centurion when Centurion took over aspects of Brambles operations and it seems that the operator didn’t bother to remove the Centurion decals.  I understand that Centurion have now it clear to the operator that they want the decals removed which is not surprising given his driving behaviour.

I thank Mr Moore and Centurion for taking my concerns seriously and getting back to me to clarify the situation.

Everyone should be entitled to use the roads in a safe responsible manner and to get home safe and sound … being a bully in a truck or any other vehicle has to be unacceptable, period.

3 Responses to A Metre Clearance Please Truck Drivers When Passing

  1. Kris Rhodes June 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM #

    My brother in law (Mike) is a truck driver (19L engine, 3 trailer semi), and quite frankly, when they’re hauling a heavy load there’s very little in the way of effective braking they can do. Every time one passes safely you it’s a small miracle, most times through a lot of effort on their part.

    They SHOULD slow down, but unless you hear a jake brake going they’re probably not. The characteristics of the vehicle are such that cruising is highly optimal, and acceleration and deceleration are not. I asked Mike what he feels when he hits a kangaroo, and he said, “nothing at all”, to give you an idea of how much momentum they have.

    Honestly, if you ever get the chance, thank a big rig truck driver. Those guys, moving machines around without hitting us – often machines that are often barely able to fit in the lanes – do a fantastic job most of the time. The smaller non-semi trucks, no excuse – I’ve driven one here in the USA, and they’re just big and wide cars, sometimes with a few extra gears.

    • Andrew Priest June 17, 2013 at 5:59 PM #

      Thanks Kris for sharing your thoughts and I do have a pretty good history with truck drivers more so the road train drivers when touring however ALL drivers irrespective of what they drive have a moral and legal duty of care to all road users. The choice of vehicle does not change that.

      With regards to this specific incident the other semi-drivers (about three for four IIRC) all managed to move a bit to make it safer and of little concern: this driver did not, nor did this driver slow down and I suspect that this driver was exceeding the 70 km/h speed limit.

      I am sorry but no truck driver has the right to play with other people’s lives … if they cannot drive safely to the conditions then they need to get off the road, just as we all have to.

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